Vietnam is definitely a country of festivals. Vietnam’s festivals follow the Chinese lunar calendar. Some of these festivals are celebrated nationwide while others are unique to the locals. Below are some of the most popular ones:
1. Hoi An Full Moon Festival
Every 14th day of the lunar month, Hoi An’s old town bans all motorized traffic and transforms itself into a massive performance venue for Vietnamese contemporary arts to the old trading town’s heyday in the 18th to 19th century – Chinese opera, Chinese chess, brightly – colored lanterns and of course, the region’s famous food options.
2. Tet Festival (New Years)
Tet is Vietnam’s equivalent to the Chinese New Year, and is just as auspicious. Tet is the most important festival for Vietnamese. Vietnamese often prepare things for several days before Tet such as housecleaning, cooking, sweets and crackers, and most especially trees and flowers for decoration. On the stroke of midnight, a hearty meal will be offered to the ancestors in the lighting of firecrackers.
3. Lim Festival
On the 13th day of the first lunar month, visitors come to Lim Hill in Bac Ninh province to watch performances of “quan ho”, traditional songs performed by both men and women from boats and from the Lim Pagoda. The songs cover numerous topics, such as greetings, exchanging love sentiments, and even trivial objects like village gates.
4. Perfume Pagoda Festival
The Perfume Pagoda is Vietnam’s most famous Buddhist pilgrimage site; this place reaches its peak at the Perfume Pagoda Festival on the 15th day of the first month of the Chinese lunar calendar. Devotees travel through a picturesque gauntlet to the sacred caves, first boarding boats that pass a landscape of rice paddies and limestone mountains, then going by foot past historical shrines and up hundreds of stone steps.
5. Mid Autumn Festival
The Mid-Autumn festival is marked with fanciful lanterns to help a legendary moon-bound figure back to Earth. The Mid-Autumn Festival is a favorite for children, as the occasion calls for more toys, candies, fruit, and entertainment than any other time of the year. Mid-Autumn parties serve cakes like the banh deo and banh nuong, shaped like fish and the moon. The Mid-Autumn Festival takes place on the 15th day of the eighth month of the Chinese lunar calendar.
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