Tet is the biggest holiday in the Vietnamese Calendar. It is the Lunar New Year and celebrated throughout the country, it usually falls sometime between January and February—this year the first day of Tet fell on January 28th. The first day of Tet is seen as the beginning of spring throughout Vietnam.
For travellers to Vietnam it can be a difficult time to visit as a lot of cities shut down or partially shut down for at least a week and travel during his period can be expensive or booked out but with a bit of forward planning it can be a great time to visit and soak up the local culture!
When planning your trip around this time bear in mind that the date falls differently every year so double check the date—and plan in advance! Book hotels and transport prior to arriving (the earlier you book the better it is for the price). Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi are quieter during Tet so it can be a good time to get out and explore the streets—although be aware that a lot of restaurants are closed as most people travel back to their home towns in the country to celebrate Tet.
Nha Trang is extremely busy during Tet and, unlike many other places through Vietnam, is mostly open for business!
Tet Eve is the biggest celebration and most families gather to enjoy the traditional Tet foods; there are so many different foods to try. Most hotels do a special Tet dinner—either a buffet style or a sit down dinner, it’s a great way to sample some of the traditional foods on offer.
On the first day of Tet most people will wear a new traditional outfit. Saga Du Mekong have a fabulous selection of beautiful Ao Dais and traditional shirts that would make a great souvenir. You will hear the beating of drums throughout the city as most businesses invite dragon dances to ward off the evil spirits on their first day of trading.
The decorations in the city are also colourful and vibrant; this year was filled with large roosters as this year marks the year of the rooster.
Along the streets you will see colourful displays of fruit trees and flowers being sold—which will be used to decorate houses.
On the whole- Tet is a great experience in Vietnam, especially in Nha Trang which is alive with different celebrations throughout the period! Come, explore and see for yourselves in 2018!