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Vietnam what's on when - events guide

January

Tết
Tết is Vietnamese New Year. It’s celebrated on the first to seventh days of the first lunar month (late January to mid-February). Age in Vietnam is determined by the year, rather than individual birthdays, and Tết is when everyone “ages”. By tradition, houses must be thoroughly cleaned and offerings of money and new clothes are made to Ong Tau so he’ll protect the household for the coming year. Ancestral spirits are invited to share in the festivities. City streets are decorated with coloured lights and pop-up stalls sell fresh and candied fruit, jams, flowers and traditional cakes. Flowering peach trees, symbolising life and good fortune, are also widely sold.

February

Hoi An Lantern Festival
The Hoi An Lantern Festival is held in mid-February. During this time, all electric lights are switched off in Hoi An and the city is lit by colourful lanterns.

March

Chử Đồng Tử Festival
During this festival, temples in the Khoái Châu district, downstream from Hanoi, honour the immortal god Chử Đồng Tử. Traditional games, human chess, wrestling and other activities are enjoyed by locals.

April

Liberation Day/Reunification Day
Liberation Day, also known as Reunification Day, is a national public holiday commemorating the victory of North Vietnam over the south, which subsequently ended the Vietnam War. Parades, festivals, performances and fireworks displays are included in the celebrations.

May

Ho Chi Minh's Birthday
Cultural performances and candlelight vigils are held nationwide to honour the memory of beloved President Ho Chi Minh.

June

Southern Fruit Festival
The Southern Fruit Festival is not to be missed if you're in the south in June. The highlight of this annual event is a floating market in Ho Chi Minh City, with more than 150 varieties of fruit for sale at discount prices. The fruit on sale includes tropical fruits such as mangoes, dragon fruit, pomelos and guavas.

July

Vietnam Motorbike Festival
The Vietnam Motorbike Festival is held in Ho Chi Minh City. The two-day festival features numerous events for motorbike enthusiasts. As part of the festival, more than 100 motorbikes from well-known brands are displayed. Special markets, displays and games are organised for the event.

August

International Circus Festival
Circus performers ranging from trapeze artists to animal acts, from around the world, travel to Hanoi to compete in this spectacular circus competition.

September

Do Son Buffalo Fighting Festival
This festival takes place in Do Son, in Haiphong Province. Months prior to the festival competing buffalo are selected and trained. On the day of the fight, the bulls are adorned with red fabric and led to the bull ring. A procession, which includes musicians, follows each buffalo. The matches last anywhere between a few minutes and an hour. The bulls fight in knock-out heats until the final victor is named.

November

Ghe Ngo Festival
Ghe Ngo Festival is one of the most anticipated in the Mekong Delta. Each year a boat race is held in Sóc Trăng Province. Festivities include an opening ceremony and a Sóc Trăng food fare. Although the focus is on the culture and traditions of the Khmer people of the region, teams from neighbouring countries also compete in the boat race.

December

Da Lat Flower Festival
The city of Da Lat, located in the Vietnam Highlands, is often referred to by tourists as “the town of flowers”. The city has 4,000 hectares dedicated to the cultivation of flowers for local and foreign markets. Some of the flowers grown in this region are daisies, roses, mimosas, carnations and orchids. The Da Lat Flower Festival is one of the largest florist events in Asia. It includes flower exhibitions, parades and fairs.