Vietnamese New Year 2016

Vietnamese New Year is the biggest and most popular festival of the year in Vietnam and celebrated on the first day of the first month in Lunar Calendar. This is also the longest holiday which may last up to 7- 9 days.

What is Vietnamese New Year

Vietnamese New Year is a special time in all year to express their respect for their ancestors and welcome the New Year with their family as well after a long and hard working year. Tet was usually held between the harvesting of the crops and the sowing of the next ones.

When is Tet

In 2016, Tet occurs on February 8th, 2016 (actual holiday from Feb 6-14, 2016)

What to do in Vietnamese holiday

  • Before Tet holiday, Vietnamese will spend a few days for cleaning their homes, or even repaint and decorate the house with colorful flowers, kumquat tree, and more.
  • Buy new clothes and shoes for their children to wear on the first days of New Year
  • Gifts are exchanged between family members and friends and relatives: A branch of peach blossom, Wine and gift baskets, Greeting cards
  • One more Vietnamese customs is that give and receive lucky money which kept in a red envelope for old people and children 
  • Lucky color: Vietnamese believe that the color of red and yellow will bring good fortune.
  • Visiting pagoda, temples or church in the New Year.

Foods- what foods used most in Tet holiday in Vietnam

  • Banh Chung/ Banh Tet- steamed square cake: It is the most special dish in Tet holiday in Vietnam which made from glutinous rice, mung bean and pork, added with many other ingredients and covered by green leaves.
  • Pickled Onion: Besides Banh Chung, boiled chicken or Vietnamese sausage, pickled onions are also served as a natural medicine for better digestion after high protein meals.
  • Boiled Chicken: boiled chicken is essential foods in tribute meals to the ancestors during any Vietnamese Tet which served with sticky rice and Chung cake, and always goes with sliced lemon leaves and salt-and-pepper sauce.
  • Giò Chả - Vietnamese sausage: is also another traditional food in Tet holiday, and usually served with sticky rice and Chung Cake. This dish is made from lean meat, added fish sauce and covered by leaves then boiled for hours.
  • Xôi gấc- Red sticky rice: is favorite the most by people because of its special red color – symbolizes the luck and new achievement for the New Year and usually served with Gio Cha or boiled chicken in Tet meals.
  • Roasted nuts and seeds: Watermelon seeds, Pumpkin seeds, Sunflower seeds, Pistachio, and, Cashew nuts

Some tips when traveling in Vietnam during Tet holiday


This is a big problem which occurs to most holiday travelers when all most air, trains and coach are fully booked. And in Tet holiday in Vietnam is not exceptional when all Vietnamese go home after a long and hard working year.

  • Air: we strongly recommend that you book your air tickets as early in advance as possible. The price will not change much but tickets are hard to book, especially on Hanoi - Ho Chi Minh City and vice versa.
  • Train: There are the same rules for train tickets reservation, especially in popular routes such as Hanoi - Sapa, Hanoi - Danang, Ho Chi Minh City - Nha Trang and vice versa. The ticket price increases about 30% as a normal price.


Unlike as transportation, hotels and hostels in Vietnam during this period are quite various, so you don’t have to worry anything about overbookings. However, the price of hospitality service will change a little bit, please check hotel’s price before you make a reservation.


During Tet holiday, many shops will be closed for the first few days of New Year, but some markets still open to server daily Vietnamese needed. So please aware of this situation and prepare enough your stuff before Vietnamese holiday.


Same situation as shopping, all most restaurants will be closed from 28th Dec – 4th or 5th Jan ( Lunar Year) and this is not a good time for culinary tour lovers.


There are both bad and good news: The bad news are many museums, indoor exhibition place, etc will be closed at least 4 days. And the good news are beach and big cities is empty which is a great time to enjoy real beauty of Vietnam


Further readings