Experience the Magic of Tet Holiday Vietnam

Tips for Traveling to Vietnam

The Tet holiday Vietnam, also known as Lunar New Year, is the most important and widely celebrated Vietnamese Holidays. It marks the beginning of the lunar new year and is a time for family reunions, honoring ancestors, and wishing for good fortune in the upcoming year. While customs and traditions may vary across different regions of Vietnam, there are several common practices observed during Tet.

When is the Tet holiday in Vietnam?

Tet Holiday Vietnam or Lunar New Year, takes place around the end of January to mid-February according to the lunar calendar. It lasts for several days, with the duration changing each year. Before Tet, people perform "spring cleaning" to welcome a fresh and lucky new year. Traditional rituals such as bathing, worshiping, preparing the altar, and offering offerings to ancestors are performed.

The Vietnamese Lunar New Year tradition has a profound cultural meaning, honoring ancestors and gods. During Tet, people participate in traditional activities such as playing cards, playing chess, enjoying traditional arts, wishing New Year, and watching lion dances, etc.

The importance of Vietnamese New Year

The importance of Vietnamese New Year

Why are Vietnamese New Year traditions so important?

Tet Holiday Vietnam is of great cultural significance, showcasing the heritage, family bonds, ancestral respect, and spiritual culture of Vietnamese people. Tet also symbolizes new beginnings, spring's arrival, and family reunions with hopes for a prosperous future. 

Tet represents the diversity of Vietnamese culture with many unique customs, practices, and festivals to welcome the new year. Additionally, Tet drives consumer spending, impacts businesses and services, and stimulates transportation and tourism.

Vietnamese New Year traditions - Tet market

Vietnamese New Year traditions - Tet market

Read more: Public Holidays in Vietnam - Exploring Vietnamese Vibrant Culture and Traditions

How is the Vietnam Tet holiday celebrated?

The customs and traditions of the Vietnam Tet holiday may vary across different regions of Vietnam, but there are several common practices during Tet. 

The importance of food

Food plays a significant role during the Tet holiday Vietnam as it symbolizes abundance, prosperity, and good fortune. Popular traditional dishes are prepared and shared among family members and guests including "banh chung" (sticky rice cake), "banh tet" (cylindrical glutinous rice cake), various types of pickled vegetables, and special meat dishes.

Traditional food in Tet Holiday Vietnam

Traditional food in Tet Holiday Vietnam

Traditional customs

During the Vietnam Tet Holiday, traditional customs are observed to honor ancestors like visiting ancestral gravesites and offering incense and food. They also pray for blessings at pagodas and temples, well-wishes, and give lucky money to hope for a prosperous year.

Traditional customs in Tet Holiday Vietnam

Traditional customs in Tet Holiday Vietnam

Exploring Tết's Artful Decorations

Vietnam Tet holiday is a visually vibrant holiday with colorful decorations adorning homes and public spaces. One of the most iconic Tet decorations is the "hoa mai" (apricot blossom) or "hoa đào" (peach blossom), which are symbols of new beginnings and luck. Kumquat trees, colorful lanterns, and calligraphy banners with auspicious phrases are also commonly seen.

Traditional customs in Tet Holiday Vietnam

Traditional customs in Tet Holiday Vietnam

Find out more: Vietnam Mid-Autumn Festival: Tradition, Mooncakes, and More

The three-period timeline

Tet celebrations in Vietnam follow a three-period timeline:

  • Before Tet: People will be involved in house cleaning, shopping, and settling debts and disputes.
  • During Tet: Families gather for reunion dinners, gift exchanges, and visits. Traditional clothing is worn.
  • After Tet: People will visit extended family, friends, and neighbors. Participating in cultural activities.

The three-period of Tet Holiday Vietnam

The three-period of Tet Holiday Vietnam

Do these things during the Tet

During Tet in Vietnam, activities can vary depending on the region and local traditions. Here are some notable activities:

  • Join traditional Tet festivals: Engage in vibrant activities like flower displays, lion and dragon dances, and traditional games.
  • Celebrate and visit family: Reunite with family, enjoy festive meals, and visit relatives and friends.
  • Indulge in Tet cuisine: Delight in unique dishes like banh chung, banh day, Tet jams, nem ran, and specialty foods exclusive to Tet.
  • Travel during Tet: Explore new destinations such as cities, rural areas, or famous tourist destinations. Take time to rest and regenerate energy with domestic and international trips with many relaxing activities.
  • Tet markets: Visit flower markets, night markets, and traditional markets, to shop and immerse in the Tet atmosphere.

Tet holiday Vietnam customs

Tet holiday Vietnam customs

Read more: Top 10+ traditional activities in Tet Holiday

Traveling during Tet Festival in Vietnam

As Tet is a peak travel period in Vietnam, it's essential to plan your trip well in advance and make necessary reservations for accommodation, transportation, and any desired activities. Traveling during the Tet Festival in Vietnam can be a memorable experience, allowing you to witness vibrant cultural celebrations.

Temple visitation

During Tet, many Vietnamese people go to pagodas to pray for blessings and offer incense to their ancestors. Famous pagodas such as Perfume Pagoda in Hanoi or Thien Mu Pagoda in Hue are famous destinations for locals as well as tourists. 

Traveling during Tet Festival in Vietnam

Traveling during Tet Festival in Vietnam

Sea tourism

Vietnam's coastal regions are highly sought-after destinations, and beach travel during Tet offers a unique experience. Exploring beaches, bays, or fishing villages like Halong Bay, Nha Trang, Cat Ba,... during Tet provides a golden opportunity to witness intriguing customs such as the "opening of the sea gate" with its captivating rituals and activities.

Moreover, Tet is an ideal time to visit the beach in Vietnam as there tend to be fewer domestic tourists. Unlike other holidays, Tet sees Vietnamese people returning home to reunite with their families. This creates a more comfortable and less crowded environment for foreign tourists, allowing them to enjoy a relaxing trip.

Sea tourism on Tet Holiday Vietnam

Sea tourism on Tet Holiday Vietnam 

Discover: How to take a private boat tour Halong Bay?

Embark on a cruise ship 

Tet is also an excellent opportunity for unique travel experiences. To reward yourself after a year of hard work, you can consider embarking on a special Tet journey, such as a Ha Long Bay tour with Paradise Vietnam's luxury cruises like Paradise Grand, Paradise Peak, Paradise Delight, Paradise Elegance,... where you can indulge in a world of elegance, adventure, and warm hospitality.

Choosing Paradise Vietnam Cruises for this special voyage ensures a welcoming and sophisticated atmosphere. The cruise ships of Paradise Vietnam Cruises are equipped with top-notch amenities and facilities that cater to your every need, ensuring a comfortable vacation experience. Each cabin offers breathtaking views of the vast ocean, allowing you to wake up to stunning sunrises and fall asleep under a canopy of stars.

Satisfy your palate with a diverse array of culinary options throughout the journey. The onboard restaurants serve a fusion of European and Asian cuisine, meticulously prepared by experienced chefs using the finest ingredients. You also have the opportunity to explore captivating destinations or partake in exciting water activities like boating and snorkeling to fully enjoy your vacation.

Embark on a Paradise Vietnam cruise ship

Embark on a Paradise Vietnam cruise ship

Moreover, you can truly unwind and pamper yourself with spa services or indulge in the modern jacuzzihot tubs, allowing the serene atmosphere and sea breeze to wash away all your worries.

Evenings on Paradise Vietnam Cruises are filled with live entertainment, cultural performances, and themed celebrations that honor Vietnam's rich heritage and traditions. You can dance under the starlit sky or simply savor a peaceful moment on the veranda while admiring the tranquil beauty of the sea.

Embark on a Paradise Vietnam cruise ship

Embark on a Paradise Vietnam cruise ship

For more information: Booking luxury cruise Halong for holiday trip

Overseas travel

Traveling abroad during Tet also helps you have special and extremely memorable experiences. It's an opportunity to immerse yourself in another culture. Each country has its own ways of celebrating and welcoming the Lunar New Year, and you can completely immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere and customs associated with this special time.

Many countries in Asia and Southeast Asia hold festivals, parades, and special events during this time. You can enjoy the vibrant festival atmosphere, participate in fun activities, and explore the unique cultural features of the country you visit.

The Tet holiday usually lasts a few days, even a week, providing an opportunity to rest and relax. You can take advantage of this time to relax and recharge. Whether it's lounging on the beach, indulging in spa treatments or enjoying a tranquil setting, traveling during Tet can provide a rejuvenating experience.

However, it is important to note that traveling abroad during Tet also has its challenges. Prices may increase, popular destinations may be crowded and some services may be affected by restrictions and limitations. It is essential to plan ahead and make the necessary arrangements to ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip.

Travel for Tet with Paradise Vietnam's cruise ship

Travel for Tet with Paradise Vietnam's cruise ship

Recommended reading: Review Halong Bay Cruise - What to Know Before Setting Sail

Tet tips for travelers 

When traveling to Vietnam during Tet, it's essential to be mindful of certain customs and traditions to ensure a perfect and enjoyable experience. Here are some tips for tourists:

  • Avoid traveling on the first day of Tet: The first day of Tet is considered the most important and sacred day for family reunions. Many transportation businesses and services are closed, and transportation options may be limited. It's advisable to plan your arrival before or after the first day of Tet to avoid any inconvenience.
  • Respect local customs and traditions: Tet is a time for family and religious activities. Show respect for local customs by avoiding noise or disruptions in public spaces, adhering to dress codes when visiting temples, and following any specific rules or instructions at cultural sites.
  • Note limited services: During Tet, some businesses, stores, and restaurants may close or have reduced operating hours. Plan your activities and meals accordingly and check in advance for any closures or changes in services.

Tết tips for travelers

Tết tips for travelers

  • Avoid giving white flowers: In Vietnamese culture, white flowers are associated with funerals and are not considered suitable gifts during Tet. Instead, opt for colorful flowers or traditional gifts such as fruits or candies.
  • Book accommodation and transportation in advance: Tet is the peak tourist season in Vietnam, with many people returning home or going on vacation. It's advisable to book your accommodation and transportation in advance to secure your preferred options and avoid last-minute availability issues.
  • Respect local etiquette: Greet people with phrases like "Happy New Year" or "Chúc mừng năm mới" during Tet. Avoid sensitive topics of conversation and be mindful of local customs and practices.

By following these tips, you can ensure a respectful and enjoyable experience while immersing yourself in the rich traditions and festivities of Tet in Vietnam.

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