Experience Lunar New Year in Vietnam Like a Local

Nga Do
Vietnamese Lunar New Year is the most significant festival to the Vietnamese communities worldwide. It’s the only cultural event that changes the mood of the people, employees get extra bonus for their work during the whole year, kids and adults alike count each day to the festival. It’s not an exaggeration to say Tet bring out the best of Vietnamese culture.

As a traveler to Vietnam, there are certain things you should know about Tet. At the very least, you should know the outstanding activities that Vietnamese people often do on Tet holiday to have a trip to experience true local culture.

For more details about Tet holiday in Vietnam, read the article: http://www.viettravelmagazine.com/2016/12/tet-holiday.html

Experience Lunar New Year in Vietnam Like a Local
Photo by pxfuel

How to Celebrate Vietnamese Tet Holiday Like a Local?

Days, even weeks before the celebration of Tet comes, Vietnamese families prepare to welcome the new year with good fortune by cleaning their homes, buying new clothes, resolving any misunderstandings and also by settling all their debts.

Beliefs strongly influence that by doing such things, bad fortune is cast away and invites a prosperous year ahead for their family. Scroll down and read on to see what Vietnamese do during the Tet holiday?

Sending off the Kitchen Gods

Sharing most of Chinese beliefs and traditions, the Vietnamese follow the tradition of celebrating the Kitchen God’s Day, an important commemoration that marks the beginning of the Lunar New Year holiday.

Vietnamese people prepare a grand farewell for the Kitchen Gods (Guardians of the Household), who will leave the earth riding on a red carp (live, placed in a bowl of water upon the family altar) to meet the Jade Emperor (or King of Heaven), to deliver their annual report on each household’s activities.

For the duration of the holiday, the Vietnamese decorate the household altar with fruits and flowers, and during mid-day offers incense in respect to the memory of the beloved departed.

Welcome the return of the deities

Relishing on the sound of beating drums and witnessing the spectacle of orchestrated fireworks, the Vietnamese celebrates as the year turns anew, welcoming back the return of the Kitchen Gods and the blessings it brings to the family. Everyone is hoping to bring themselves and their loved ones favorable fortune over the coming year, and the Vietnamese will do everything they can to tilt the odds to their favor with these ingenious traditions.

Visiting Family and Friends

On Tet, families lay out a splendid feast to welcome visiting relatives and friends. Family members and friends also exchange gifts during the visit. After the guests have been feted, the family goes off to their respective places of worship (Christian or Buddhist) to pray for the year to come, or join in the many public parades celebrating the festival.

The first few days of Tet are meant to be spent visiting friends and relatives. The first day is spent calling upon close friends and one's parents. The next day, Vietnamese call on their in-laws and other friends. And on the third day, people call upon their distant relations.

Experience Lunar New Year in Vietnam Like a Local 1
Photo by This Is Thảo


A large feast is shared among family members on the first day of the Lunar New Year. Because of this, it is necessary to purchase ingredients on the days leading up to the holiday. Many of the dishes are based on local ingredients, so traditional foods often depend on region. One of the most popular dishes enjoyed during the New Year feast is banh chung.

Giving Lucky Money

Similar to the tradition in China, it is a custom of parents in Vietnam to give children a small sum of money to enjoy during the beginning of the New Year. This practice encourages children to give respect to their parents throughout the New Year.

Things to keep in mind if you’re visiting Vietnam this Lunar New Year

Vietnamese Lunar New Year 2020 officially takes place from January 25th to January 27th.

1. Transportation: flights, buses and trains about 1 week before or after Tet Holiday are often booked out well in advance as Vietnamese travel a lot this time (return home/go back for work). Be sure to book early. Note: Odynovo (formerly Odyssey) provides private vehicle for customers, so there is no need to worry about short-distance transportation.

2. Accommodation: most hotels remain open, so there is no need to worry about accommodation. However, some hotels may raise the price if you stay during Tet holiday. 

3. Sightseeing: some tourist sites remain open during Tet, but many museums, mausoleums, and indoor exhibition place and art houses will be closed at the first 3 days of Tet. The floating markets in the Mekong Delta will be closed. 

4. Restaurants: many restaurants will be closed during Tet. Therefore, Tet may not be the best time for culinary tour fans. 

5. Shops: many shops will be closed for the first few days of Tet Festival. The good news is - many products will be sold at a very reasonable price because most sellers want to start a smooth sales year. 

6. Banks: banks will be closed for the holiday. 

Overall, Tet is not the best time to travel to Vietnam, but will all these factors spoil your Vietnam holiday during Tet? Not really. Here are some good parts of Tet for travelers:

Experience Lunar New Year in Vietnam Like a Local 2
Photo by Daderot
1. The country is vibrant and colourful during this time, and you will have a chance to learn more about culture of Vietnam.

2. Streets are quiet and light in traffic during Tet. Beaches will be less crowded - overall Tet is a great time for those who enjoy the tranquility. 

3. Streets are elaborately decorated and everybody looks happy. Just enjoy the festive mood!

4. Hotels and travel agents still work during Tet holiday. Some hotels will have special nights or New Year celebration.

My tips for travelling in Vietnam during Tet

If you're planning to visit Vietnam during Tet holiday, here are some tips.

1. Be sure to plan and book your Vietnam tour early so that tickets can be guaranteed. Booking two or four months ahead is not a bad idea. Because since some tourist sites are closed during Tet.

2. Book hotels early. There are three reasons: you can enjoy a relatively low price; avoid the risk of having no room to stay; there are more choices if book early.

3. For travelers, dining at hotel restaurants is the option since most restaurants are closed.

4. If you are in need of some currency changed, do this in hotels though the exchange rate might be less than favorable. 

5. Try not to bargain because it will be considered to bring about bad luck for the whole new year. If you have to do, be very politely.

All in all, if you're planning to visit Vietnam during or around Tet Holiday, be sure to prepare your trip ahead of time!

Or you can count on us. You only need to provide the time you come and when you leave Vietnam, a more perfect plan will be right in front of you. Vietnam Typical Tours is ready to accompany you on every trip in Vietnam!

Suggestion: our best travel itinerary in Vietnam during Lunar New Year 2020 👉 http://vietnamtypicaltours.com/tour/christmas-new-year-holiday-2015/


Hotline: +84 974 861 652
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