Vietnam Public Holidays in Year 2009
The most important and widely celebrated holiday in Vietnam is Tet, this is a lunar holiday and is a celebration of welcoming the new year, new age, new crops, new hope… Besides, Vietnam’s people can take a rest in some national days.
By: Asiana Travel Mate
Lunar New Year
Mid April Anniversary of the Hung Kings
30th April Liberation day
1st May International Labour Day
Festivals & Public Holidays
Vietnam is a very colourful country when it comes to festivals, there are hundreds held in the towns and villages every year. All of festivals express an aspiration for a happy life and a prosperous society.
January/February - 1st lunar month
Tet Nguyen Dan - Lunar New Year Festival
Literally, Tet Nguyen Dan means the first morning of the first day of the new period. Officially, Tet marks the beginning of a new year on the lunar calendar. It is the most important festival for Vietnamese people, it is a time when families gather together in their home towns and celebrate the New Year and to remember their ancestors. Although officially a three-day affair, festivities may continue for a week or more with every effort to indulge in eating, drinking and enjoyable social activities.
Painstaking care is given to starting the new year well as it is believed the first day and the first week of the new year will determine the fortunes or misfortunes for the rest of the year. Houses are painted and cleaned, new clothes are purchased, old debts should be paid off and great care is taken to avoid arguments. The first visitor to the house on the first morning of Tet is very important. Particular care is taken to arrange in advance to have the visitor be rich, happy, and prestigious.
Perfume Pagoda Festival
The Perfume Pagoda, 69km south of Hanoi, is without doubt the most famous Buddhist pilgrimage site in northern Vietnam. Thousands of pilgrims travel to this sacred cave to pray for happiness and prosperity in the coming year. The pilgrims board boats that take them past stunning lanscapes, from the blazing green rice paddies to the jagged limestone mountains. Then the pilgrims climb hundreds of stone to reach the Perfume Pagoda. The festival lasts from the 6th day of the1st month to the end of the 3rd month of the lunar calendar.
Anniversary of the founding of the Vietnamese Communist Party - 3rd February
This celebrates the date the party was founded in 1930.
15th day - Ba Den Mountain Festival, Tay Ninh
The Ba Den Mountain Spring Festival is quite a busy festival; pilgrims go there for religious reasons as well as for sightseeing. Pilgrims travel the 20km route from Tay Ninh to the foot of Ba Den with wonderful views across the beautiful landscape, especially in fine weather. The Vietnamese believe that the Ba Den pagoda is one the most mysterious pagodas in Vietnam.
Hung Temple Festival
The Hung temple is located on Nghia Linh Mountain in the Phu Tho Province. Every year, this national festival is held to worship the Hung Kings, who were instrumental in founding the nation. The festival lasts for 3 days from the 9th to the 11th of the 3rd lunar month. The worship service is held on the 10th day, there is a flower ceremony, parades and an elephant procession. Lavish feasts of fruit, cakes and glutinous rice dumplings are also served.
Liberation Day - 30th Arpil
This is a public holiday that marks the 1975 anniversary when the Vietcong and North Vietnamese captured Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City,) this signaled the end of the Vietnam War. It is also referred as ‘The Fall of Saigon’ oversees and it is a day of reflection.
International Worker’s Day - 1st May
Ho Chi Minh’s birthday - 19th May
Summer Solstice Day (TET DOAN NGO) - 15th day of the 5th Lunar Month
Offerings are made to the spirit world and to ward off pests and disease. This is a mid-year festival is also to enhance the prevention of evils and illnesses and a time to remember ancestors.
Children’s Day - 1st June
Buddha’s Birthday - 8th day of the 4th Lunar Month
Water Festival, Nha Trang
This is a street festival with a parade of pedi-cabs, tandems and carriages decorated with flowers. Beautiful traditional kites are flown in the square. There are also exhibitions on pottery and calligraphy and artistic performances.
National Day - 2nd September
This day celebrates the Declaration of Independence by Ho Chi Minh in 1945.
Buffalo fighting festival - Do Son, Hai Phong
The buffalo festiva is held on the 9th day of the 8th lunar month, it is one of the popular Vietnam festivals & events in Haiphong City. Although preparations for the festival start months in advance as the competing buffalos are selected and then methodically trained.
The festival begins with a colourful procession then the chosen buffalos are covered with red and taken to the fighting ring twelve Vietnamese men. The young men dance and wave flags as the two teams of troops take their positions in the fighting ground and the festival begins with a riot of noise and colour. The winning buffalo go to the next round, until the final winner emerges.
This is the time when the moon is full, the farm work is at rest, and the weather is cool and fresh. Families in Vietnam plan special activities, parents tell fairy tales and eat moon-cake with the children. Then the children go around the villages with their lanterns singing the “Tet Trung Thu” song.
Keo pagoda Festival – Thai Binh
Keo Pagoda was built as early as 17th century in honor of a monk, Duong Khong Lo, who was originally a fisherman, then entered religion and attained Nirvana, he is seen as the savior of Emperor Ly Nhan. The Keo Pagoda festival is annually held for three days, from 13th to 15th of the 9th lunar month to worship Buddhist Duong Khong Lo.
The festival begins with a procession, then a boat race and a competition of literary recitation are held in the afternoon, when the night falls there is a trumpet and drum competition. All ceremonies continue in a more entertaining manner with more traditional games such as duck catching, rice cooking competition and firecrackers hurling contest.
Oc Om Boc Festival
This festival is a religious service to worship the moon god of the Kho Me minority group, it is deemed to be a great cultural event and draws crowds of thousands. They thank the god for bringing good crops, providing abundant fish in the rivers and maintaining the health of their family and friends. After offerings of green rice flakes, ripe bananas, fresh peeled coconuts, mangoes and other dishes are served to the moon god, people release lanterns into the sky and banana-tree boats with colourful lights into the rivers.
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