New Year Holiday in Vietnam: Things to do & Places to go

The turning from the old year to the new one is such a special time full of magic! Have you ever wondered how people all over the world celebrate their new year? Let Incredible Asia Journeys tell you about the delightful New Year Holiday in Vietnam! This blog will show you all the exciting things to do and the best places to visit Vietnam during the New Year trip. 

Stay tuned to uncover why Vietnam should be at the top of your list for this upcoming New Year holiday!

1. New Year Holiday in Vietnam Overview

Tourists make Banh Chung (Chung Cake) in Tet occasion

As a nation deeply influenced by Eastern culture, Vietnam celebrates 2 types of New Year: the internationally recognized Gregorian New Year and the traditional Lunar New Year, also known as Tet. 

Thus, the country observes two distinct New Year holidays, each with its own unique customs, traditions, and significance in Vietnamese culture.

1.1. Gregorian New Year in Vietnam

In Vietnam, people come together to celebrate the Gregorian New Year on January 1st with joyful and lively festivities. Just like in many parts of the world, everyone gets the day off to enjoy the holiday. In cities like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, and Hue, you can expect to find exciting parties and countdown events on the eve of December 31st to welcome the new year with open arms.

1.2. Lunar New Year in Vietnam (Tet Holiday) 

Tet atmosphere in Vietnam

What is Tet? Tet, also known as the Vietnam Lunar New Year, is the most important holiday in Vietnam, celebrated over 3 days but often for a whole week. The date of Tet changes every year because it follows the Vietnamese lunar calendar, so it usually falls in late January or early February according to the Gregorian calendar.

Like the Christmas and New Year celebration period in the UK, Tet marks the arrival of spring and the lunar new year is a time for family reunions, honoring ancestors, and celebrating with traditional customs and foods.

Keep in mind upcoming Tet Dates to Vietnam travels:

- Tet 2025 on January 29th (Year of the Snake)

- Tet 2026 on February 17th (Year of the Horse)

- Tet 2027 on February 6th (Year of the Goat)

- Tet 2028 on January 26th (Year of the Monkey)

2. Things To Do in Vietnam during the New Year Holiday

New year comes, and there are a variety of fun events and festivals specially held in Vietnam to experience. Let's delve into what each of them has to offer!

2.1. Raise the Toast at New Year’s Eve Party

Have a meal with traditional food in Vietnam New Year Holiday

Let's come together with the locals to raise a toast at a vibrant New Year's Eve party, celebrating the successes of the past year and offering our best wishes for the year ahead. Only in Vietnam, throughout the night, people gather to enjoy festivities and revel in the joyful atmosphere, shouting the signature drinking cheer "1, 2, 3, dzo!!" undoubtedly creating a strong sense of drinking enjoyment.

For tourists, you can embrace the spirit of New Year's Eve in Vietnam, it's a time to join grand celebrations. Numerous 5-star hotels and resorts host Gala Dinners, providing a delightful opportunity for guests to create cherished memories. These events are marked by lavish buffets and captivating live music performances, promising an unforgettable start to the new year.

2.2. Sway with Melodies at the Countdown Music Festivals

Countdown concerts in Hanoi

Countdown concerts are a highlight, featuring live music, dancing, and fireworks. Major cities like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, and Hue host FREE festivals in public spare areas such as open parks and walking streets, inviting everyone to celebrate together. Don’t miss the chance to burn out with music of top famous artists!

2.3. Witness the Professional Fireworks or Drone Performance

During New Year's celebrations in Vietnam, the military often organizes spectacular fireworks and drone performances to ensure safety and a stunning display. Cities like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, and Da Nang feature spectacular fireworks on New Year's Eve, and the sky lights up with vibrant colors and patterns at exactly 00:00, creating a magical spectacle. 

Some of the best spots to watch the fireworks include rooftop bars, city centers, waterfront areas, and designated viewing areas. It's important to arrive early to secure a good spot for the show.

Hanoi fireworks and drones performance on New Year's Eve

2.4. Give the Lucky Money in Lunar New Year

During Tet, people visit each other's homes to “Chuc Tet” (wish the best for the New Year), then enjoy confectionary and drinks together. Even strangers exchange warm wishes, making it a heartwarming experience for tourists. 

Moreover, giving "Li Xi" (or Lucky Money) in red envelopes to children and elders is a cherished traditional Vietnam culture. As a tourist, you can participate in these activities, but be sure to familiarize yourself with local customs to avoid cultural misunderstandings.

2.5. Go Sightseeing at Temples and Pagodas

Visiting pagodas and temples is a common practice during Tet, as people pray for luck and peace in the new year. Pagodas are beautifully decorated with flowers, offering a serene escape and cultural insight. 

Visitors can come to recommended pagodas including Bai Dinh in Ninh Binh, Yen Tu in Quang Ninh, and Perfume Pagoda in Hanoi for sightseeing. Also, there are many traditional festivals held at temples and pagodas during this period that provide a deep dive into Vietnamese culture.

2.6. Savor Traditional Vietnamese Cuisine

Banh Chung cooking class

Tet is a time to enjoy a variety of traditional Vietnamese dishes that are specially prepared for the New Year. Tourists can join hands to make the traditional dishes with local people.

Some must-try dishes include Banh Chung (square sticky rice cake), Nem Ran (fried spring roll),  Gio Lua (Vietnamese pork sausage), and Xoi (sticky rice). These Vietnamese traditional foods are not only delicious but also carry cultural significance and are often shared among family and friends.

3. Best New Year Destinations in Vietnam

3.1. Hanoi

Hang Ma Street in Tet Holiday

The capital city of Vietnam, Hanoi is a main destination to experience the vibrant celebrations of the Vietnamese New Year. As Tet approaches before 1 week, the city buzzes with many things to do & see and joy. The Hoan Kiem Lake (Sword Lake) area will become particularly vibrant and lively, hosting exciting countdown events as well as fireworks displays. Moreover, the Hanoi Old Quarter is transformed with festive adornments and bustling local markets offering an array of traditional Tet goods. 

If you're in search of traditional decorative items like lanterns, red envelopes, god of wealth figurines, red parallel sentences, or firecrackers, make your way to Hang Ma Street. For candies, jams, melon seeds, and other traditional delicacies, a visit to Hang Buom Street is a must. Lastly, you can immerse yourself in the beauty of fresh flowers at the Quang Ba Flower Market.

3.2. Ninh Binh

Ninh Binh vibrant festival atmosphere

Traveling to Ninh Binh during Tet Holiday is an opportunity to immerse yourself in the ancient tranquility, experience the charm of the mountains and rivers, and discover the remnants of a once magnificent dynasty in Vietnamese history. 

Spring is the best time to visit Ninh Binh with beautiful flowers and lush greenery, thus taking a boat trip to Trang An or Tam Coc to go sightseeing. All the tourist spots and fun places in Ninh Binh have longer hours to welcome a lot of visitors. You can enjoy all kinds of cool events like music shows, art exhibitions, and cultural activities at Hoa Lu Ancient Town. Then, you can visit the Thung Nham eco-tourism area for an art program with traditional art, singing, dancing, puppetry,... They also have activities for welcoming the new year of Thai and Muong ethnicity.

3.3. Hoi An

Tourists wear Ao Dai to enjoy Tet in Hoi An

In the New Year Holiday, Hoi An experiences favorable weather with slight sunshine and cool breeze, making it very suitable for outdoor activities. The city hosts a spring flower festival on roads in the inner city area. On New Year’s Eve (the night of the 30th Tet), there are music performances, lucky charms for spring, and art shows to welcome the new year. 

During Tet in the Hoi An ancient town, there are many cultural activities are held including street music exchanges, creative corners and art installation spaces, and art performances. Additionally, other annual activities such as tree-planting Tet festivals, Tra Que Cotton Bridge Worshiping Ceremony, Kim Bong Carpentry Patriarch's death anniversary, Lunar New Year Festival, and Cam Nam Sticky Rice Festival will be maintained.

3.4. Da Nang

Da Nang is renowned for its stunning beaches and vibrant nightlife, making it a sought-after destination for New Year celebrations. The city hosts energetic countdown parties and stunning fireworks displays along the Han River.

During the New Year festivities, tourists can participate in the Dragon Bridge program including rotation of the bridge, fire & water shows at night in Han River, flower and lighting decorations for Tet, a check-in background at the Dragon Bridge area, and New Year's Eve fireworks. Additionally, visitors can explore many other top things to do in Da Nang such as climbing the Marble Mountains, visiting the Linh Ung Pagoda, or unwinding on My Khe Beach during their Vietnam visit during the New Year Holiday.

3.5. Ho Chi Minh City

Nguyen Hue Flower Street in Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam's largest metropolis, offers energetic and diverse New Year festivities. Rooftop bars and restaurants provide stunning views of the city's fireworks. The bustling Nguyen Hue Walking Street has become a hub of activities, including concerts, light shows, flower festivals, and street performances. Don't miss the chance to visit iconic landmarks like the Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon and Ben Thanh Market.

You can like our designed tour Best of Vietnam for New Year, not only exploring Ho Chi Minh City but also other top tourist attractions such as Hoi An, Halong Bay, Mekong Delta,...

4. Travel costs and crowd in New Year Holiday in Vietnam

Tourist crowd in New Year Holiday in Hoi An

During Tet, major cities might feel less crowded as locals travel home to celebrate with their families. However, after the first few days of Tet, popular destinations and pagodas can become crowded, leading to traffic jams and higher prices for flights, services, food, transportation, and accommodations can rise up to about 15-20%. Be prepared for surcharges and some closed shops during this period.

5. Tips to travel to Vietnam during New Year 2025

New Year Holiday is the most important holiday in Vietnam, attracting tourists with its bustling, vibrant atmosphere and unique cultural features. However, traveling during Tet also has its own notes to ensure you have a complete and memorable trip. Keep in mind these tips during the New Year Holiday in Vietnam!

- Plan your Vietnam tour packages for at least 2-3 months before the Tet Holiday to secure the best options and avoid inflated prices. 

- Learn about the customs and traditions associated with the holiday, such as exchanging New Year greetings, visiting ancestral homes, and attending local festivals. 

- Anticipate higher prices for services and goods during Tet. Budget accordingly to accommodate increased expenses.

- Many Vietnamese people don't bargain during Tet, as it is considered bad luck. If you do bargain, be polite and respectful.

- The weather can be unpredictable during Tet. It can be hot and sunny in southern Vietnam while cool and rainy in northern Vietnam. Be sure to pack for all types of each region’s Vietnam weather.

Da Nang in New Year Holiday

Vietnam has 2 kinds of New Year Holidays, however, the Lunar New Year offers a unique blend of lively festivities and rich cultural experiences. Whether you join in the energetic countdown parties or explore serene pagodas, you'll find plenty to do and see in Vietnam. 

Let Incredible Asia Journeys be your guide to help you embrace the warm hospitality and festive spirit of your New Year holiday. Contact us to plan your Vietnam New Year trip as soon as possible!

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