What are the best festivals and when do they take place in Vietnam?

Although the Vietnamese calendar is the same as our Gregorian calendar, some Vietnamese holidays are based on the lunar calendar. The exact dates are different every year, depending on the position of the moon.

Tet Nguyen Dan (usually abbreviated to Tet) is celebrated in January/February and is the Vietnamese New Year, the biggest annual celebration. The Tet celebrations are officially three days long, but many Vietnamese have the week off. Festivities such as processions, dragon dances, fireworks and flower parades are organised, but in the main it is a family celebration and is not targeted at tourists.

Trung Nguyen is the day of wandering souls (July/August), where gifts are offered to spirits forgotten or neglected by their surviving relatives. Tet Thrung Thu is the mid-autumn festival, held at the end of September, when ‘moon cakes’ are sold everywhere and children with beautifully shaped lanterns walk through the streets.