A Traveler’s Guide To Vietnam Tet Holiday (Vietnam Lunar New Year)


With the upcoming Lunar New Year, the celebration of the Vietnam Tet holiday will bring forth a captivating blend of ancient customs and modern festivities, painting the towns and cities with colors of joy and reverence.

This blog post is your ticket to unravel the magic of Vietnam’s Tet holiday, offering a glimpse into the cultural significance that defines this auspicious occasion. We’ll be your travel companion, guiding you through the essence of Tet, its traditions, and the best ways to experience this cultural extravaganza. So, fasten your seatbelts and prepare for an unforgettable journey into the heart of Vietnam’s most cherished celebration!

Understanding Vietnam Tet Holiday: Traditions and Customs

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Family Gathering Is A Tradition Of Vietnam Tet Holiday

Preparation And Cleaning

Tet, the Vietnamese Lunar New Year, is a tapestry of customs deeply woven into the fabric of Vietnamese society. As the country prepares for this grand celebration, homes buzz with activity. Families engage in meticulous cleaning, transforming their spaces into sanctuaries of freshness and purity. This symbolic cleansing represents bidding farewell to the old year and welcoming the new with a sense of renewal and hope.

Ancestor Worship

Central to Tet is the profound reverence for ancestry. Families come together to honor their forebears through elaborate altars adorned with offerings of fruits, flowers, and symbolic objects. The scent of burning incense fills the air as prayers are whispered, connecting the living with the spirits of the departed. This ritual not only signifies respect for lineage but also emphasizes the continuity of family traditions across generations, reinforcing the importance of heritage.

Tet Food

Tet cuisine, an essential aspect of the celebrations, is a testament to the country’s rich culinary heritage. Traditional delicacies like Banh Chung, a meticulously prepared sticky rice cake symbolizing Earth, and Gio Lua, the heavenly Vietnamese pork roll, are crafted with care and shared among loved ones. Each dish carries deep symbolism, adding layers of meaning to the culinary experience and underscoring the significance of ancestral homage.

02_Food in Vietnam Tet holiday

The special treat of Tet holiday

Li Xi Customs

Beyond the culinary delights, Tet embodies forgiveness and reconciliation. Debts are settled, and grievances are set aside as communities embrace a spirit of harmony. The giving and receiving of red envelopes, known as Li Xi, containing lucky money, symbolize good fortune and unity. These small gestures of kindness create an atmosphere of joy and anticipation, particularly among children, fostering a sense of community and togetherness.

Best Places to Experience Tet Holiday In Vietnam

Embarking on a Tet journey across Vietnam reveals a multitude of enchanting destinations, each offering a unique and immersive experience.

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Colorful streets during Vietnam Tet Holiday


In the heart of the capital city, Vietnam Tet holiday is a symphony of colors and traditions. The Old Quarter comes alive with bustling markets, where locals shop for traditional Tet treats and decorative items. Dragon and lion dance performances captivate onlookers, infusing the air with contagious energy. At the historic Temple of Literature, ancient ceremonies pay homage to scholars and learning, offering a glimpse into Vietnam’s deep respect for education.

Hoi An

The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hoi An casts a spell during Tet. Lantern-lit streets and bustling markets create an enchanting ambiance. Visitors can participate in the tradition of releasing colorful lanterns onto the Thu Bon River, symbolizing hopes and dreams for the future. Historic temples and pagodas host captivating ceremonies, offering travelers a glimpse into the spiritual significance of Tet.

Ho Chi Minh City

04_Vietnam Tet holiday in Ho Chi Minh City

Crowded Nguyen Hue Walking Street during Tet

In the bustling southern metropolis of Ho Chi Minh City, Tet is a visual feast. Nguyen Hue Flower Street transforms into a floral wonderland, showcasing meticulously crafted displays and sculptures. The city’s iconic landmarks, such as the Bitexco Financial Tower, illuminate the skyline, creating a magical atmosphere. Firework displays over the Saigon River paint the night sky with vibrant hues, captivating spectators and adding to the festive spirit.

Other Regions

Venturing into rural areas and ethnic minority villages unveils a more intimate Tet experience. In the serene Mekong Delta, floating markets bustle with vendors selling fresh produce and traditional delicacies. In the adventurous Sapa, amid misty mountains, vibrant flowers and traditional costumes worn by local tribespeople create a picturesque backdrop for Tet celebrations.

Must-See Festivals And Events During Vietnam Lunar New Year

Prepare to be captivated by the grandeur of Tet festivals and events taking place across Vietnam. These celebrations offer a glimpse into the heart of Vietnamese culture and the fervor with which Tet is celebrated.

Major Tet Festivals and Fireworks Displays

Cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City host spectacular Tet festivals with colorful parades, traditional music performances, and mesmerizing fireworks displays. These events showcase the country’s rich cultural heritage and provide an unforgettable visual feast.

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New Year Firework at the Sword Lake

Local Markets, Flower Festivals, and Pagodas

For a more intimate experience, explore local markets brimming with Tet delights, vibrant flower festivals showcasing intricate floral arrangements, and serene pagodas adorned with traditional decorations. These places offer a glimpse into the everyday life of the locals and the spiritual significance of Tet.

Preparing For Vietnam Tet Holiday: What Travelers Should Know

As you prepare to embark on your Tet adventure, there are some essential travel tips to ensure you make the most out of this vibrant celebration.

Book Accommodations in Advance

  • Secure lodging well in advance due to high demand during Tet.
  • Consider staying in homestays or boutique hotels for a more intimate cultural experience.
  • Research accommodations that offer Tet-related activities or special packages to enhance your celebration.

Plan Transportation Ahead

  • Arrange travel plans well in advance to secure seats on buses, trains, or flights, considering potential delays.
  • Opt for reputable transportation companies to ensure safety and reliability during the busy travel period.
  • Have a backup transportation plan, such as local taxis or rideshare services, in case of unexpected changes in your itinerary.

Indulging in Traditional Tet Dishes

  • Do research on the local dishes that you need to try during Vietnam Tet holiday.
  • Don’t hesitate to explore local markets and street food stalls, where you can sample Tet specialties like Banh Tet (cylindrical glutinous rice cake) and Xoi (sticky rice).

Pack Wisely

  • Pack weather-appropriate clothing, as Tet weather can vary from chilly in the north to warm and humid in the south.
  • Bring a lightweight, foldable bag for souvenirs and purchases made during your travels.
  • Consider carrying a small medical kit with basic supplies like pain relievers, band-aids, and stomach remedies for emergencies.

Understand Business Closures

  • Be aware that many businesses, shops, and restaurants may close temporarily during the Vietnam Tet holiday, especially on Tet Eve and the first day of Tet.
  • Plan your dining options, as some local eateries or street food stalls might remain open, offering authentic Tet delicacies.
  • Familiarize yourself with the locations of markets, convenience stores, and pharmacies that might stay operational for essential needs.

Respect Local Etiquette

  • Dress modestly, especially when visiting temples, pagodas, or local homes, to show respect for Vietnamese customs.
  • Learn basic Vietnamese phrases and greetings; even a simple “Xin chào” (hello) or “Cảm ơn” (thank you) can go a long way in connecting with locals.
  • Practice polite behavior, such as covering your mouth when yawning or refraining from public displays of affection, to align with local customs.

Stay Informed About Local Customs

  • Engage with the local community by participating in traditional Tet events, like dragon dances or lantern festivals.
  • Visit local markets and learn about traditional Tet foods, handicrafts, and customs from vendors and artisans.
  • Attend cultural workshops or cooking classes to gain hands-on experience and a deeper understanding of Tet traditions.

By meticulously preparing for Tet with these detailed guidelines, travelers can immerse themselves in the festivities, fostering meaningful connections with the local culture and creating lasting memories of their Vietnam Lunar New Year experience.

>> See Tour: Vietnam Insight

Experience Vietnam Tet Holiday Fully And Exclusively

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Unique traveling paths during the Vietnam Tet holiday

Tet is a colorful thread that ties together customs, cuisine, and profound festivities in the fabric of Vietnamese society.

Exploring Vietnam during Tet offers a one-of-a-kind opportunity to witness the country’s soul in its purest form. The warmth of family gatherings, the aroma of traditional dishes, and the joy of community festivities create an atmosphere that lingers in your memory long after the celebrations have ended.

So, if you’re considering a visit to Vietnam during Tet, Plan Your Journey with Asia Pioneer Travel immediately. With careful planning and an open heart, our committed travel experts promise to design your Vietnam Tet holiday as an unforgettable chapter in your travel story.

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