Vietnam Religious holidays
Plz Read this article about The lunar calendar
5th day of 3rd month: Remembering the Dead (Thanh minh). Families will visit the graves of deceased relatives and bring offerings of flowers, joss sticks, food and votive papers. 8th day of the
4th month: Buddha’s Enlightenment. This is a day to visit pagodas. Especially in the South, many processions are organized for this occasion.
5th day of the 5th month: Summer Solstice. Offerings are made to spirits, ghosts and the God of Death.
15th day of the 7th month: Wandering Souls Day (Tet Trung Nguyen). This is the second most important festival of the year. On this day, it is believed that the souls of the dead come back to the world of the living in order to have a taste of earthly pleasures. Ceremonial offerings are made for the souls of ancestors and the forgotten dead. Paper replicas of earthly objects are burnt and thus sent to the dead. It is also customary to release birds into the air and fish into water.
15th day of the 8th month: Originally the Mid-Autumn festival (Tel Trung Thu), this event is now mostly celebrated by and for children. They gather in parks and on the streets dancing to the beat of drums while holding lanterns made of waxed paper surrounding a lit candle. Special stuffed glutinous rice cakes (banh deo) and oven-baked cakes (bank nuong) are prepared for this occasion.
28th day of the 9th month: Confucius’s birthday.
25th day of the 12th month: Ong Tao, the Kitchen God, is believed to come and visit all households on this day. On this occasion, families buy a live fish that they will later release into a lake or stream, burn paper money and address prayers that are to be relayed to Ong troi (Mr. Heaven) himself. The Kitchen God will rise back to Heaven on the fish, reporting the good and bad deeds of the households he visited as well as the prayers addressed to Heaven. Christmas (based on solar calendar):The Catholics and Protestants celebrate Christmas as in other countries with special masses and services. The commercial aspect of this event is starting to invade cities in both South and North Vietnam.
February 3rd: Anniversary of the Founding of the Vietnamese Communist Party in 1930. April 3rd:
30th April: Liberation Day. The date on which Saigon surrendered to the North Vietnamese troops. Some cities also celebrate the date in March or April of 1975 when they were ‘liberated’ by the North Vietnamese Army.
May 1st: International Workers’ Day.
May 19th: Ho Chi Minh’s birthday.
September 2nd: This is both Vietnam’s National Day and the anniversary of President Ho Chi Minh’s death in 1969. The National Day commemorates the declaration of independence of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam by Ho Chi Minh in 1945.
There are literally hundred of festivals held each year m clt1es and villages all over Vietnam. To name but a few:
First lunar month
4th – 5th: Traditional wrestling in Lieu Doi village (Ha Nam). This event also includes traditional poetry reciting and the preparation of regional culinary specialties. 5th: Horse-race in Quang Ngai province.
5th: Dong Da festival in Hanoi in memory of King Quang Trung who defeated the Chinese to liberate Thang Long citadel in 1789. A ceremony is held at the Khuong Thuong temple and prayers are conducted at the Dong Quan pagoda for the souls of the deceased. 6th: Catching the eel festival in Vinh Lac District (Vinh Phuc) is va celebration to wish for plentiful harvests and prosperous lives.
8th – 10th: Spring market for handicraft products and ornamental plants in Van Ban District (Nam Dinh).
10th: Martial arts competition in Huong Phu District (Thua Thien Hue). Hundreds of young girls and boys participate in competitions where all schools of martial arts in Vietnam are represented.
13th: Lim Folk Song festival in Bac Ninh Province.
Second lunar month:
15th: Perfume Pagoda Pilgrimage in Ha Tay. This festival, the longest in Vietnam, lasts for nearly two months (from the 6th day of the first lunar month to the and of the third moon) with the 15th as the main festival day. Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims visit the numerous pagodas and grottos dispersed on the mountainsides, while admiring the scenery. If you are not a crowd seeker, it probably is best to visit Perfume Pagoda outside the festival period.
Spring: Sometime in the 2nd lunar month, an elephant race in organized in Buon Don (Dak Lak). This highly colorful event stages a 2 km race where 10 elephants compete to the sounds of drums and gongs.
Third lunar month:
10th: The Hung Kings festival in Phu Tho is a sacred event for Vietnamese. Many Hanoians and Northerners will use this opportunity to visit their land of origin. Activities include folk song singing and drum beating Contests as well as other games.
9th – 11th: Truong Yen festival in Hoa Lu District (Ninh Binh) commemorates a national hero, King Dinh Tien Hoang, credited with unifying the Country after repressing the Rebellion of Vassals. It involves a mock battle against the Chinese invaders.
15th: The Do Temple festival in Tu Son district (Bac Ninh) honors the memory of the eight kings from the Ly dynasty. Processions, cock fighting, traditional wrestling and human pawn chess games.
20th – 23rd Thap Ba festival at the towers of Po Nagar north of Nha Trang. The largest event in the region, this festival honors Po Nagar, Mother-goddess and founder of the Country, who taught the people the secrets of rice cultivation.
Fourth lunar month:
1st: Traditional silver carving village Dong Xam festival in Thai Binh province. The boat races and traditional opera representations (cheo and ca tru) attract a large crowd of spectators. 8th: Dau Pagoda festival in Thuan Thanh district (Bac Ninh province). This event, in honor of Mrs. Man Muong- who is credited with successfully fighting off drought, involves a procession and folk games. 9th: G
iono- festival in Phu Dong village, Gia Lam district (Hanoi) in memory of the mythical hero who defeated the An invaders. This festival stages cultural shows, including water puppets. 23rd –
27th: Chua Xu festival, the largest in the Mekong Delta, is held on mount Sam in Chau Doc (An Giang). Visitors and pilgrims come to ask for happiness and prosperity as well as to participate in the cultural events.
Fifth lunar month
5th: Water festival in Nha Trang where city dwellers flock to the beach to bathe while getting rid of parasites and worms.
Sixth lunar month
16th: Greeting the Whale festival in Tien Giang province.
Seventh lunar month
30th:Lang Ong festival in Ho Chi Minh City on the occasion of the anniversary of the death of Le Van Duyet, officer in the Nguyen dynasty and governor of Gia Dinh province.
Eighth lunar month
9th: Buffalo Fighting festival in Do Son (Hai Phong). Winners and losers will be sacrificed to the water genie that saved the population from natural calamities. The meat will be distributed to the spectators as a sign of sharing happiness. Ninth lunar month
13th: Keo Pagoda festival (Thai Binh Province) in honor of a Buddhist monk who cured Emperor Ly Than Tong of a fatal disease. This festival comprises Buddhist ceremonies as well as games and folk performances.
15th – 20th: Co Le Pagoda festival in Nam Dinh Province in honor of another Buddhist monk, sorcerer Nguyen Minh Khong, one of the originators of bronze casting.
Tenth lunar month
15th: Moon festival (ook-om-bok) in Southwest Vietnam by the Khmer people. To thank the Moon for the good harvest and the plentiful fish catch, offerings of glutinous rice, bananas, coconuts and manioc are brought our as the moon rises over the horizon. The next day, colorful boat races are organized on the river for the hundreds of thousands of spectators that flock to the river’s edge.
18th – 19th: Nguyen Trung Truc Temple festival (An Giang province) in memory of this commander of the revolt against the French. It involves ceremonies, exciting games and a re-enactment of the battle against a French ship.
Eleventh lunar month
11th: An Lu Temple festival in Hai Phong in memory of Tran Hung Dao, a national hero who defeated the Mongolians.
18th: Trung Do festival in Ha Tay in memory of King Ly Nam De. 22nd: Dong Quan festival at Chan Tien pagoda, Hanoi. Twelfth lunar month.
15th: Ca Ong festival in Khanh Hoa.
23rd: Thai Duong festival in Thua Thien Hue to worship the genie Thai Duong. And on the 30th day of the last lunar month, rice cooking contest in Tu Trong village (Thanh Hoa).