Traditional Festivals in Vietnam

Festive activities are living museums in which typical cultural values of the nation have been preserved for centuries.

Vietnam Festival

Formation and meaning of traditional festivals

Traditional festivals constitute a form of cultural activities, a spiritual product which the people have created and developed during the course of history. From generation to generation, the Vietnamese people preserve the fine tradition of “remembering the source while drinking water.” Festivals are events which represent this tradition of the community as well as honour the holy figures named as “gods” – the real persons in national history or legendary persons. The images of gods converge the noble characteristics of mankind. They are national heroes who fought against foreign invaders, reclaimed new lands, treated people, fought against natural calamities, or those legendary characters who affect the earthly life. Festivals are events when people pay tribute to divinities that rendered merits to the community and the nation.

Vietnam Festival

Festivals are occasions when people come back to either their natural or national roots, which form a sacred part in their mind.

Festivals represent the strength of the commune or village, the local region or even the whole nation. Worshipping the same god, the people unite in solidarity to overcome difficulties, striving for a happy and wealthy life.

Festivals display the demand for creativity and enjoyment of spiritual and material cultural values of all social strata. Festivals become a form of education under which fine traditional moral values can be handed from one generation to the next in a unique way of combining spiritual characters with competition and entertainment games.

Festivals are also the time people can express their sadness and worries in a wish that gods might bestow favour on them to help them strive for a better life.

Process of festivals

Generally speaking, every festival will include the following three steps:

Preparation: The preparation work is divided into two phases: prior to the coming festive season and in the immediate time before the festive day. The preparation work for the coming festive season starts right after the previous festival comes to an end. When it is coming to the festive day, people need to check the worshipping objects, attires, decoration, and cleaning of the worshipping place and statues.

The festive day: Many activities take place, including rituals of procession, incense offering, and rejoicing games, among others. They form the most important and significant part of any festival. These activities also play a decisive role in attracting tourists and deciding the timing of the festival itself.

The ending of the festival: The organization board expresses their thanks to all festival goers and closes the worshipping place.

Time for festivals

In Vietnam, festivals often take place during the three months in spring and in autumn when people have a lot of leisure time. In addition, the climate in spring and autumn is especially suitable for holding festivals and for festivals goers to enjoy.

There are a lot of festivals all over the country:

Vietnam National Wide Festivals

  • Tet Nguyen Tieu
  • Mid-Autumn Festival
  • Vu Lan Festival
  • Te Nguyen Dan

Northern Vietnam Festivals

  • Yen Phu Communal House Festival
  • Buffalo Fighting Festival in Phu Tho Province
  • Mach Lung Temple Festival
  • Con Son Kiep bac festival
  • Hien Quan festival
  • Yen Tu festival
  • Vieng market in Nam Dinh
  • Bai Dinh pagoda festival
  • Co Loa festival
  • Lieu Doi Wrestling and Martial arts Festival
  • Dong Ho Festival
  • Do Son Buffalo fighting festival
  • Tran Hung Dao God Festival
  • Dong Bang temple festival
  • Thanh Giong Festival
  • Hung King Festival
  • Phu Giay Festival
  • Tan Vien God of Mountain Festival
  • Lim Festival
  • Trieu Khuc Festival
  • Huong Pagoda Festival
  • An Duong Vuong Temple Festival
  • Thay Pagoda Festival
  • Hai Ba Trung Temple Festival
  • Dong Da Festival

Central – Highland Vietnam Festivals

  • Ra Glai tribe Festival
  • Village Land Praying Ceremony
  • Village Land Praying Ceremony
  • Kate Ceremony
  • Buffalo stabbing festival
  • New rice (Com Moi): Ceremony of the M’Nong
  • Spring festival
  • Central Highland festival – Elephant race
  • Hon Chen Temple Festival

Southern Vietnam Festivals

  • Nui Ba spring festival
  • Vegetarian foods festival in Tam Vu
  • Duc Chi Ton Great Ceremony
  • Chol Chnam Thmay Festival
  • Ba Chua Xu festival
  • Nghinh Co Festival
  • Ba Pagoda Festival

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