Celebrating the new year in Vietnam at the famous Tet Festival
Vietnam’s Tet Festival is the annual New Year celebration. and runs concurrent to the Chinese New Year, normally around late January. Considered the most important of Vietnam's national holidays, it is a celebration of the start of the Lunar New Year.
But although there are many cultural crossovers between China and Vietnam passed down through the centuries, and Vietnam celebrates New Year on the same day that China celebrates, the Vietnamese Tet Festival has its own distinct style and voice.
The word Tet comes from Tết Nguyên Đán, which means Lunar New Year in Vietnamese, and it marks the beginning of spring.
At the heart of the New Year Tet Festival lies the importance of commemorating the lives of departed ancestors, and embracing the coming year with the living family.
Travelling to Vietnam for New Year
Vietnamese New Year is vibrant and unforgettable, but remember that hotel rooms will be few and far between - and expensive - and travelling will be hectic, as everyone is likely to be going somewhere else in order to spend time with their families. Book in advance and try to stay put for the duration of the celebrations to minimise stressful travelling situations and to make the most of the joyous atmosphere.
Saga don't currently offer holidays to Vietnam for New Year, but to go at another time, try Voyage on the Mekong to experience the beauty and grandeur of the Mekong on a leisurely cruise through Vietnam into Cambodia.
Celebrate Vietnamese Tet in Hoi An
The historic Silk Route trading port of Hoi An, just a short hop from the resort of Danang, turns on a superlative show for the Tet Festival.
The traditional art of lantern making is a particular speciality in Hoi An, and is used to dazzling effect during the festivities with a lantern contest and parade.
Visitors will also be treated to a spectacular lion dance (not with real lions, we stress) and a parade of cars bedecked in flowers.
Add in music, traditional sports competitions and the haunting peal of temple and pagoda bells for an immersive and magical Tet experience.