The Perfume Festival draws throngs of pilgrims from all over Vietnam to Hanoi’s iconic Perfume Pagoda, where visitors come to pray for a prosperous year and pay their respects to Buddha. The pilgrimage takes place on the 15th day of the 1st lunar month, which is usually between mid-February or March. As one of Hanoi’s most popular festivities, there are plenty of tour companies that offer day trips to the festival and during this time of the year. The Perfume Pagoda is a two-hour-long drive from Hanoi to Ben Duc Pier, where visitors travel on row boats along the Yen River to reach Huong Mountain. It takes about an hour to get to the mountains, passing by beautiful mountainous landscapes, limestone caves and rice fields.
Perfume Festival Highlights
After about 45 minutes, the boat stops at Den Trinh (Registration Shrine) where visitors can witness a dragon dance and devotees light incense for the God of the Mountain. The next stop is at Thien Tru Pagoda. This shrine was built in the 18th century during the reign of King Le Thanh Tong, housing a granite tower, five statues and unique limestone formations. The boat makes its final stop at Tro Wharf, which is located at the base of Huong Mountain.
Pilgrims are then required to climb a 120-step stone stairway towards Huong Tich Cave, which houses the final destination: The Perfume Pagoda. If you’re not physically fit enough to endure the climb, there is a cable car that takes visitors to the cave for VND 60,000 per person. Throughout the day, travellers get to enjoy a colourful display of food offerings, statues of deities and light incense.
Hoi an Lantern Festival or also called Hoi An full moon festival is a nice traditional event in Hoi an. Hoi an in generally and Hoi an ancient town in particular is a well-known tourist destination for not only domestic but also tourists from on over the world. Besides being famous for old town, delicious dishes and good tailors, Hoi an is also considered as a heaven of lantern with many kinds, shapes and sizes of colorful lanterns. Hoi an has become the most popular destination in Vietnam for travelers to see the lantern, learn to make the lantern by themselves, and especially to enjoy the full moon lantern festival Hoi an.
Traditionally, The Hoi An Lantern Festival is held monthly, on the 14th day of the lunar calendar to celebrate the full moon. The full moon is as a time to meditate, observe rituals, reflect on life and honor deceased relatives and ancestors.
Below are Hoi An Lantern Festival dates for the next two years ( in Solar Calendar)
In 2018 : July 26th, August 24th, September 23rd, October 22nd, November 21st and December 20th
In 2019 : January 19th, February 18th, March 20th, April 18th, May 18th, June 16th, July 16th, August 14th, September 12th, October 10th, November 10th and December 9th
Full moon lantern festival Hoi an often starts at dusk and finishes between 9pm and 10pm. It is in the area between the Japanese Covered Bridge and the Cau An Hoi Bridge, which connects Hoi An with An Hoi, and spills onto the surrounding street and river banks. At 8pm, all the houses in the area will turn off their electricity, and just allow soft lights from silk lanterns to illuminate the houses and streets instead. The colorful lights from the lanterns make the town become very magical and sparkling.
One of the activities in this festival is releasing lantern on the river. Even though it has some affects on the environment, this is said to bring good fortune and love. Locals and tourists also release lantern to hope for happiness and health. Besides this, there are also other activities such as Bai Choi, Boat ride, ..
Nowadays, lanterns become very popular. They are lit every night and everywhere in Hoi an. Therefore, even you can’t be in Hoi an on the full moon dates above, you can still feel a part of it every night.
To visit Hoi an and see this festival, you can take a car from Da nang airport to Hoi an. If you are in Hue and want to go to Hoi an, you can also book a private car from Hue to Hoi an. Do not miss this beautiful town and do not forget to check the full moon day to see the lantern festival. We believe that it will be a very memorable experience for your holiday in Vietnam.
Lim Festival opens annually on around 12th – 13th day of the first lunar month in the year. The festival takes place in a spacious area of Noi Due Commune, Lien Bao Commune and Lim Town, which three belong to territory of Tien Du District in Bac Ninh Province, Vietnam. It’s the festival of “Quan Ho” singing, which has become one of UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage since 2009.
The main day of the festival is 13th day of Lunar New Year. At the beginning of the festival, the locals gather very early in a procession up to Lim Hill – the center of Lim Festival. On Lim Hill, representatives of villages take part in a traditional liturgy of incense-offering at Lim Pagoda, which is place to worship Mr. Nguyen Dinh Dien (so-called Hieu Trung Hau). According to the story told by a local resident, Nguyen Dinh Dien, who lived in 18th century, was born in Noi Due Village and made many great merits for his hometown. He was also the person who founded Lim Festival, which was originally Commune Festival held yearly in the eighth lunar month. Therefore, incense-offering liturgy expresses gratitude and respect of the locals to him, and is also an occasion to remember the origin of Lim Festival as well.
Recreational activities of Lim Festival begin earlier, usually from 12th day of Lunar New Year. Of course, the most attractive activity is “quan ho” singing performance. Each year, thousands of tourists come to visit Lim Festival and enjoy that Intangible Cultural Heritage. On Lim Hill, several stages of villages in Bac Ninh Province are built. Visitors can enjoy “quan ho” singing at difference stages and interact with singers in traditional costumes. Female singers (called “lien chi” in Vietnamese) are beautiful in “ao tu than” (four-panel traditional dress) and “non quai thao” (“quai thao” hat, so-called “non ba tam”). Male singers (called “lien anh” in Vietnamese) are elegant in “ao the” and “khan xep”. They sing love duets together in pair of one male and one female. Don’t miss the taste of betel chewing while enjoying smooth and lovely melody of “quan ho” folk songs. Moreover, on the lake in front of Lim Communal House, visitors can catch the scenery of “quan ho” singing performance on a dragon boat. Coming to Lim Festival, visitors will experience a unique specialty of legend land of Kinh Bac as well as of Vietnam in general.
Besides, Lim Festival is also space for various folk games such as “danh du” (bamboo swings), wrestling, cocks fighting, tugging war, blindman’sbuff, human chess, pot beating, etc. Especially, visitors can know more about culture of Vietnamese people in Red River Delta region with the competition of weaving.
Over 300 years in existence, Lim Festival has become an indispensable part of Vietnamese culture and pride of Vietnamese people.
Hung King Festival is one of the most meaningful and important festivals in Vietnam. This festival has been inherited and brought into play for thousands of years by Vietnamese people, in spite of the severe domination of China and the French colonialism. The festival is often organized under the national-scale to commemorate Hung Kings who are the ancestors of Vietnamese people. The habit of celebrating Hung King Festival became the long-lasting cultural tradition of Vietnamese people. Annually, the festival appeals thousands of people who fled to Hung Temple from provinces across the country and overseas. It is a national holidays in Vietnam. All Vietnamese people can have their day off on the occasion of this festival. Like other holidays in the country such as New Year (in solar calendar), traditional Tet holiday, Liberation Day of Southern Vietnam, Labor Day and Independence Day, Vietnamese people during Hung King Festival stop all their business to join in cultural activities of commemorating Hung Kings. People gather in Phu Tho to take part in exciting atmosphere of this festival and enjoy the holiday.
Hung King Festival is officially open from the 8th to 11th days of the third month in lunar calendar in Hung Temple (Phu Tho), but the 10th day is the feast day. The Vietnam festival is held in Hung Temple in Phu Tho province. Hung Temple is a group of worshiping Hung Kings in Nghi Linh Mountain. The temple was built under the dynasty of Dinh Tien Hoang. By 15th century, the temple was rebuilt, and this architecture remains now. Here is also the area of Van Lang’s capital.
Similar to other Vietnamese festivals in Northern Vietnam, Hung King Temple Festival consists of two main parts: the ceremony and the festival. The section of the ceremony is celebrated solemnly as national festival. The offerings are offered with three animals (one pig, one goat and one beef), Banh Chung (sticky rice cake), Banh Giay (crushed sticky rice pudding), and colorful sticky rice in the combination with the instrument of ancient bronze drum. After a while drums sound, the main holder will celebrate the ceremony under the direction of a master, followed by the celebration of the notables in the host. Finally, local people, visitors and pilgrims enter Hung Temple and practice traditional customs. After the ceremony, it comes to the festival. At all Hung Temple Festivals, the competition of sedan chairs between villages is organized. By virtue of the emergence of the lavish processions, the festive atmosphere becomes more cheerful and exciting. Sedan chairs of villages have to be gathered before the competition for a few days. The winner of this competition has an opportunity to take the procession to the Upper Temple to celebrate national ceremony. Therefore, that will be a pride for the winner and that village as for the belief of being blessed by Hung Kings. However, in order to have splendid and gorgeous sedan chairs in the procession, villagers have to meticulous preparation. The hardship of villagers urges them to overcome to reach the sacred and noble things towards ancestors. It is the spiritual life of Vietnamese people, which expresses through a clear form of cultural activities, traditional beliefs.
There are three sedan chairs in a procession. They are all covered by royal colors with sophisticated sculptural patterns, and skillful decorations. The first sedan chair contains offerings for ritual such as beautiful flowers, incenses, betel, areca, and wine. The second sedan chair consists of ancestral shelves of deities with the parasols and ranges in several colors. The last sedan chair is displayed with Banh Chung, Banh Giay and head of pig, followed by the old villagers and officials. During the Vietnam festival, the ceremony song Xoan singing is one of unique and important activities. It is believed that Xoan singing previously called Xuan singing since the empire of Hung Kings, and then was widely popularized in the region. At the beginning, the head of Xoan Kim Duc, one of the most famous Xoan singing group, and the master of the ceremony will perform in front of the furnace bridge, and then, dancers will perform their dancing. Finally, there will have songs of honoring deities and Hung Kings. Meanwhile, in the Lower Hung Temple, Tru singing is also performed to honor the festival and other activities. Besides, there are many traditional activities taking place and appealing everyone.
Hung Temple Festival is beautiful custom in Vietnamese tradition. For a long time, in folk consciousness, the land of Hung Kings becomes a “sacred sanctuary” of the country. Through the vicissitudes of historical eras, Hung Temple Festival has been held annually. This has demonstrated the extraordinary bravery and brilliant civilization imbued with national identity. There is no religious discrimination between the pilgrims, they are proud of the descendants of Hung Kings. Hung Temple Festival or the death anniversary of the Hung is a day of gathering, praising the glory of the country, also a symbol of community’s spirit.
Hue Festival is a big cultural event of Hue City that is held every two years. There is a week (usually in April, May or June) for each festival season which is the occasion to honor cultural and historical values of that Vietnam’s former capital city. The first Hue Festival took place in 2000.
At the beginning of Hue Festival, visitors can enjoy a colorful and grand opening ceremony with unique performances of several art groups from Vietnam and other countries. Hue Festival has become a space of cultural exchange between peoples all over the world. During the festival, there are variety of cultural events taking place such as Hue Poetry Festival, Massive Street Arts Performances, the Dialogue of drums and percussion instruments, Art Exhibitions, the Week of Vietnam’s historical films. Otherwise, visitors can come and explore some traditional values of Vietnam at Gastronomy Quarters, Traditional Kite Flying Festival or watch “Ao dai” Grand Show, “Oriental night” Show, and sporting activities like boat race, human chess, etc. Especially, many ancient scenery of Nguyen Dynasty are also reproduced and provide tourists an insight into Vietnam’s feudal era. Some typical events include Nam Giao Offering Ritual, Xa Tac Offering Ritual, the Royal Refined Music of Hue which was recognized as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2003.
Hue Festival is well-known as an international festival where cultures of many countries converge together as well as where Vietnamese traditional and cultural values are widely presented to the world.
The Tet Festival was originally celebrated by Vietnamese farmers to thank the gods for the arrival of spring, a practice which dates back thousands of years. Today, it’s a time for paying respects to ancestors and welcoming the New Year with family members (‘Tet’ is an abbreviation of Tết Nguyên Đán, which translates as ‘The Feast of the First Morning of the First Day’).
Held between late January and early February, it is officially a three-day celebration but festivities may continue for about a week (sometimes more) with every effort made to indulge in eating, drinking, and socialising. In the weeks leading up to Tet Festival, all homes are thoroughly cleaned (sometimes repainted) to get rid of any bad luck of the old year while ancestral altars are presented with five types of local fruits and votive papers. Locals also decorate their homes with colourful flowers such as chrysanthemums, marigold, Mao Ga flowers, paper white flowers, and lavenders, together with peach blossom and kumquat trees.
What Happens During Tet Festival in Vietnam? The first day of Tet is a bustling affair with prayers, reunion dinners, and gift exchanges held between family members. Children usually receive money kept in red envelope by their parents and elder relatives. As with most Asian countries, Vietnamese often wear red and yellow during the festivity as they believe those colours symbolise prosperity and good fortune. Throughout the day, the streets are filled with people performing mua lan or lion dance performances with drums, bells, gongs, and firecrackers going off to ward off evil spirits. Buddhist temples all around Vietnam are also packed with locals giving donations and getting their fortunes told during Tet.
Tet Festival is also a great time for locals to enjoy an array of traditional Vietnamese dishes such as banh chung (steamed square cake), gio cha (Vietnamese ham/sausage), xoi (sticky rice), and thit ga (steamed chicken). Visiting guests are also served with tea and mut (various dried fruits and seeds), which is kept in ornate boxes and placed at the table in the living room.
As the most important festival in Vietnam, most offices, shops, restaurants, and attractions are closed for the first three days of Tet. Flights are also often fully booked about a week before the festival, so it’s highly recommend that you plan in advance and book your flight to Vietnam as early as possible.