Most of the most famous traditional festivals in Vietnam happen in spring, and some happen in autumn. The weather of those seasons is the nicest in a year and the farmers are actually free. Those festivals are cared by both the government and people and attract millions or thousands of domestic and foreign people attending. In this Web Page, we will talk generally about ten the most famous traditional festivals in Vietnam to help you know the site, time, meaning and character of those festivals.
1. Hung Temple Festival in Phu Tho:
Hung Temple Festival or Hung Vuong Ancestor Death Anniversary is organized at Nghia Linh Mountain of Hy Cuong Commune, Viet Tri City, Phu Tho Province on March 10th on the lunar calendar. Hung Temple Festival is of national size and is greatly held in even years. The festival aims to remember and show the gratitude to the national building of Hung Kings, who are the first kings of Vietnamese People. Actually, the festival happens some weeks before with customs such as going on the pilgrimage of everybody everywhere and bronze trump beating of Muong ethnic group. The festival finishes on March 10th on the Lunar New Year with palanquin bring ceremony, incense offering in Thuong temple.
2. Ba Chua Xu Temple Festival in An Giang:
Ba Chua Xu Temple Festival happens in Nui Sam Ward, Chau Doc City, An Giang Province from 23rd to 27th of April on the lunar calendar. Besides the ceremony section are organized according to tradition, art activities are also organized solemnly such as lion dancing, tray dancing, plate and bowl dancing. According to the folk relief, the festival remains customs such as sortilege, money loan and asking for charm. In 2001, Ba Chua Xu Temple Festival was recognized as the festival of national level by Culture and Information Minister.
3. Huong Pagoda Festival in Hanoi City:
Huong Pagoda Festival happens in Huong Son Commune, My Duc District, Ha Noi City From January 6th to late March on the lunar calendar, especially from 15 January to 18 February of the lunar calendar. Coming to Huong Pagoda Festival, you will has the opportunity joining activities of culture and sports such as Sailing, Listening to Vietnamese folk songs, Climbing mountains and Offering incense, praying to Buddha. Coming to Huong Pagoda, You will feel your spirit mixes with nature and near Buddha forgetting the carnal world.
4. Whale Festival in Can Gio, Ho Chi Minh City:
The Whale Festival in Can Gio is organized on August 15thon the lunar calendar. A whale is a kind of fish having big shape. The biggest is 3,000 kg heavy. They live in the main sea. When having big wave and strong wind, they usually look for ships or boats to shelter. People on the coast of South Vietnam believe that all whales are a God who saves them from dangers. They call all whales is Gentleman (Ông in Vietnamese) and establish temples to worship Gentleman. Every year they hold festivals to show the deep gratitude and pray to Gentleman for helping them have a peaceful and developed life.
The festival has many ceremonies, especially Gentleman Greeting Ceremony. The greeting group is out to sea to greet Gentleman back to the bank with hundreds of boats decorated brightly flowers and flags. Then the parade continues to go throughout streets with lion and dragon teams and the resounding sound. The ceremonies of Whale Festivals on the coast of South Vietnam are the same, but the festival in Can Gio adds many legends of history taking form and developing Can Gio region.
5. Yen Tu Festival:
Yen Tu Festival happens in Yen Tu Mountain area of Thuong Yen Cong Commune, Uong Bi City, Bac Ninh Province from 10th to the end of March on the lunar calendar. Yen Tu was The Buddhism’s center of Dai Viet before (Dai Viet is the name of Viet Nam in Tran Dynasty (1226-1400)). Yen Tu was also placed founding the Zen sect of Truc Lam. People do not know Yen Tu Festival has been formed since no time. They only know, since the 17th or 18th century, in the top of Yen Tu with the height of 1,068m, there has been a pagoda (Thien Truc pagoda) of which the roof has been covered with brass. Inside the pagoda, there were 2 statues also made from brass and besides the pagoda, there was a flat big piece of stone called fairy chessboard and a big “Buddha” world carved into the cliff. All radiated out holy, mystery, magical attraction. Pilgrims and tourists join Yen Tu Festival to separate themselves from the carnal world, come to Buddhist world.
6. Ngu Hanh Nuong Nuong Festival in Long An:
Ngu Hanh Nuong Nuong Festival (Five Elements Goddesses Festival) happens in Long Thuong Commune, Can Gioc District, Long An Province from 20th to 22th of March on the lunar calendar. According to Western philosophy, all things are made by Five Elements (Vietnamese: Ngũ Hành) and Five Elements belong to yin. Because of that foundation, jolk relief has the Five Elements Goddesses (Ngũ Hành Nương Nương). Five Elements Goddesses are worshipped everywhere in Vietnam – in a garden of a family, on a lane of a street and in a village. Every year, the temples have festivals to pray to the gods for prosperous country and peaceful people. Ngu Hanh Nuong Nuong Festival in Long Thuong Commune happens very solemnly. Besides ceremony section, art Activities happen excitingly attracting thousands of locals and tourists.
7. Bai Dinh Pagoda Festival in Ninh Binh:
Bai Dinh Festival happens in Gia Son Commune, Gia Vien District, Ninh Binh Province from early January to late March on the lunar calendar. Except above time, tourists can only see the sight, cannot join the cultural activities of the festival. The ceremony consists of offering incense to Buddha, remembering Nguyen Minh Khong God, offering incense Mountain God (Vietnamese: Thần Cao Son) and Wood Goddess (Vietnamese: Thánh Mẫu Thượng Ngàn). Besides ceremony section, there are art activities such as jolk games, ancient opera (hát chèo). The opera imitates Yearly God Cecrificing Ceremony (Vietnamese: Lễ Đăng đàn xã tắc) of King Dinh Tien Hoang and Fly Sacrificing Ceremony (Lễ Tế cờ) of King Quang Trung before the time going out to battle.
8. Tran Temple Festival in Nam Dinh:
Tran Temple festival happens at Tran Temple of Loc Vuong, Nam Dinh City, Nam Dinh Province from 15th to 20th of August on the lunar calendar to show gratitude to 14 Tran kings and General Tran Hung Dao and pray for the peaceful and prosperous country. The ceremony is carried out solemnly. The first is the ceremony carrying the gods from the temples in the area back to Tran temple to offer incense. Incense Offering Ceremony has 14 virgins carrying the trays of flowers, going into Tran Temple to offer the kings. Besides the ceremony, there are many unique art and sports activities such as cockfighting, martial arts performing, wrestling, lion dancing, balanced bridge walking (di cau kieu), flower dancing, chess playing. These cultural activities make Tran festival interesting attracting visitors all over the nation.
9. Ponagar Festival in Khanh Hoa:
Ponagar Festival (Vietnamese: Lễ hội Tháp Bà Po Nagar) happens in Vinh Phuoc ward, Nha Trang City, Khanh Hoa Province from 20th to 23th of March on the lunar calendar. Ponagar Festival in Khanh Hoa is the famous traditional festival of Champa ethnic group. It aims to memory Goddess Yang Po Inu Nagar who had many merits bringing good things to people. Besides traditional ceremony, there are cultural activities such as ancient dances of Champa ethnic group, Champa singing, brocade weaving performing, traditional pottery making.
10. Lim Festival in Bac Ninh:
Lim Festival happens in Lim Town, Tien Du District, Bac Ninh Province on 12th and 13th of January on the lunar calendar. The thirteenth of Lunar New Year is the main festival day. Early morning locals gather and join a procession up to Lim Hill – the center of Lim Festival. The locals joining the procession wear colorful traditional formal uniforms. The procession lasts about 1 km. On Lim Hill, the villagers participate in a traditional ceremony at Lim Pagoda, which is the place to worship Mr. Nguyen Dinh Dien. In the ceremony, there is “quan ho” sing liturgy to praise the god for his great merit. The Lim Festival in Bac Ninh is the festival of Quan Ho Sing, which has been recognized UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage since 2009.
Above, we have shared generally about 10 the most famous traditional festivals happening yearly in Vietnam. If you want to know more details about each festival, would you like to go to the website Scooter Saigon Tour.