Vietnam is fast emerging as an interesting and popular travel destination in Asia, inviting an increasing number of nature lovers, pilgrims and history buffs every year. While bustling cities, beaches, rivers and Buddhist pagodas are all major lures for the tourists, some of the festivals, reflecting the rich history and culture of the country, are inviting too.
Hoi An Full Moon Festival
Hoi An Full Moon Festival is held on every 14th day of the lunar month in Hoi An’s ancient town, a UNESCO World Heritage site on Vietnam’s central coast. During the festival, the town bans the road traffic and turns into a huge performance venue with the streets illuminated with plenty of colourful lanterns. This festival aims to preserve traditions that were practised during the Nguyen Dynasty and it amazes visitors with many cultural events, old-fashioned games and performances for a week.
Held in Lim village, few kilometres from Hanoi, Lim Festival takes place on 13th day of the first lunar month, every year. The festival amazes you with a number of exquisite dance performances by Quan Ho, a UNESCO recognised tribe; the traditional costumes and dragon boats are a treat to watch during the celebrations. Besides, visitors can enjoy playing games such as tug-of-war, cockfighting, wrestling, human chess, and Danh du (bamboo swings).
Perfume Pagoda Festival
The most popular Buddhist pilgrimage site in Hanoi, Perfume Pagoda is a group of sacred caves where hundreds of thousands of pilgrims visit every year to welcome a happy and prosperous year. The Perfume Pagoda Festival begins from the 6th day of the first month and lasts till the end of third month of the lunar calendar. It is a place that not just welcomes pilgrims but also nature lovers all throughout the year who come to take delight in its terrific landscape.
Thay Pagoda Festival
A joint festival of four villages, Thay Pagoda festival is celebrated in Thay Village located at the foot of Sai Son Mountain. It takes place on the 5th-7th days of the 3rd lunar month and is celebrated to worship a Buddhist monk who became a popular king. The festival begins with a religious performance supported by traditional music, and amazes with its famous water puppet show and numerous games played here.
Also called Moon Festival, Lantern Festival, Reunion Festival and Children’s Festival, Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the biggest holidays in Vietnam. It is held in the eighth lunar month and is famed for various activities such as lion dances, children carrying paper lanterns and food booths selling sticky rice, fruits, moon cakes and various other sweets. The festival draws families from all corners of the world.