Calendar of Major Festivals in Viet Nam

THE 1ST LUNAR MONTH
– The Keo Pagoda Festival (Duy Nhat commune, Vu Thu district, Thai Binh province)
This festival is divided into two episodes: the Spring Festival on the 4th day of the 1st lunar month, and the Autumn Festival from the 13th to 15th days of the 9th lunar month. The Festival is held in honour to Khong Lo, a Buddhist monk who cured King Ly Thanh Tong of a disease and was promoted to the rank of Royal Adviser. In addition to Buddhist ceremonies, there are numerous games such as duck catching, rice cooking competition, firecrackers hurling contest, and more.
– The Gua Village Festival (Liem Thuan commune, Thanh Liem disctrict, Ha Nam province)
The festival is held from the 4th day of the 1st lunar month in honour of Truong Nguyen, a native of the village who joined Leader Dinh Bo Linh (alias King Binh Tien Hoang) in quelling the rebellion of 12 vassals. The Festival also involves contests in martial arts, wrestling and other folk games.
The Dong Da Festival (Dong Da district, Ha Noi)
The festival is helf to celebrate the Dong Da victory on the 5th day of the 1st lunar month (in which King Quang Trung defeated the Qing invading army in 1789) and also to commemorate all those who laid down their lives during the battle.
The Dong Da festival also involves a procession of the “Fire Dragon”.
The Lieu Doi wrestling festival (Liem Tuc commune, Thanh Liem district, Ha Nam province)
The festival is held from the 5th day of the 10th lunar month, in honour of a young member of the Doan family who defeated the northern invaders and was also worshipped as the founding father of Wrestling in the village.
The festival involves such items as escorting the Genius to the wrestling place, setting a fire, handing over the sword and the piece of red cloth, a flag dance, the mobilization ceremony, five beginning rounds of wrestling and a number of culinary contests (eels, snails, glutinous rice steamed with fish, steamed red glutinous rice…).
– The Mai Dong Festival (Hai Ba Trung disctrict, Ha Noi)
The Festival lasts for 3 days from the 4th to 6th days of the 1st lunar month in honour of Trieu Tam Trinh, a lady general of the Trung Sisters who fought against the Han invaders. Beside a procession and various ceremonies, the Festival also involves a wrestling contest designed to commemorate a method used by the lady commander to enroll soldiers.
– The Vo Festival (Quang Phu commune, Luong Tai district, Bac Ninh province)
Vo is the name in demotic script of Quang Bo, a village known for its old traditions in bronze casting trade which was founded by Nguyen Cong Le. Beside ceremonies, the Festival involves many games such as the Lion dance, swimming and duck catching contest, cock fight, classical (Tuong) and popular (Cheo) theatrical plays.
– The Ha Loi festival (Me Linh commune, Me Linh district, Vinh Phu province)
The festival is held on the 6th day of the 1st lunar month, in honour of the Trung Sisters and involves, among other things, a procession of the palanquins with female bearers and a religious ceremony with rice pies as offerings.
– The Co Loa Festival (Co Loa commune, Dong Anh district, Ha Noi)
The festival lasts from the 6th to 16th days of the 1st lunar month, in honour of Thuc Phan who built the Au Lac Kingdom and the Co Loa fortress. It involves a procession of the Genius in which take part 12 hamlets, wrestling, swing, tugs of war, rice cooking contest, human chess, card game, folk theatrical plays (cheo).
– The Duom festival (Dong Bat commune, Phu Lifting district, Thai Nguyen province)
The festival is held on the 6th day of the 1st lunar month, in honour of Duong Tu Minh, who, during the Ly Dynasty, defeated foreign invaders. In involves trays and incense sticks offering ceremony, genius-involving song performances, “vi” and “liftin” folk songs.
– The Com Hom festival (Tien Phong commune, Pho Yen district, Thai Nguyen province)
The festival opens on the 6th day of the 1st lunar month, in honour of an anonymous woman who was credited with good tactics for defeating the Ming invaders. A particular Feature of the festival is offerings in the form of compressed steamed glutinous rice put in boxes.
– The character display festival (Quynh Son commune, Quynh Phu district, Thai Birth province)
The festival opens on the 6th day of the 1st lunar month, with displays of relevant Chinese characters as the main item, and several other folk games.
– The Soc Son Festival (Phu Linh commune, Soc Son district, Ha Noi)
The festival is held on the 6th day of the 1st lunar month, in honour of the Dong Genius. It is associated with old rituals beseeching prosperity and abundant progeny and involves, among other things, processions of paper elephants and betel trees, a scramble for bamboo flowers and many other folk games.
– The festival of the temple of the 19 founding fathers (Cam La commune, Yen Hong district, Quang Ninh province)
The Festival is held on the 7th day of the 1st lunar month in honour of 19 people who led the people in pushing back the sea in order to expand cultivable lands, and involves, among other things, a procession escorting 80-year-old men and women to the temple, and a dyke building ceremony.
– The Tu Ha festival (Hong Giang commune, Luc Ngan district, Bac Giang province)
The festival opens on the 8th day of the 1st lunar month, in honour of Vu Thanh, the commander who directed the final attack on the Mongolian invaders, and involves a symbolic repetition of the military attack, “xoong hao” songs (seeking partners), and dialogue songs between young men and women, which start as a contest between two teams and end as dual contests between young men and young women.
– The friendship and spring strolls festival (jointly organized by Yen Phu, Yen Dan, Y§n Tien, Yen Vi villages, Yen Phong district, Bac Ninh province)
The festival is held on the 8th day of the 1st lunar month to celebrate the sistering links forged by these 4 villages in the old days for the sake of countering foreign aggression and mutual aid in production. In involves sistering ceremonies and such games as tug-of-war, wrestling, human chess, cheo plays.
– The spring stroll festival of the H’mong ethnic group (also called Gau Tao – Open air strolls – Festival)
This festival comes in the wake of the traditional new year and is designed to beseech happiness and abundance of male children. It involves dialogue song performances between male and female teams, whose members express feelings of affection toward one another by means of small trumpets made of leaves and flutes, and such games as foot kicking (kicking quickly, vigorously and accurately at the feet of other partners), and hitting with the buttocks and back (for building up skills in moving hands rapidly, attacking and avoiding attacks from others).
– The Thuong Lap Temple Festival (Thuong Lap commune, Vinh Tuong district, Vinh Phuc province)
The festival is held on the 10th of the 1st lunar month, in honour of Cao Nguyen, a general of the Trung Sisters, who led troops in fighting against Han troops commanded by Ma Vien. In the end, he committed suicide. The festival involves religious ceremonies, processions, wrestling, “xoan” songs and, in particular, the “Phet” ball game.
– The Trieu Khuc Festival (Trieu Khuc commune, Thanh Tri district, Ha Noi)
The festival is held on the 10th day of the 1st lunar month, in honour of King Phung Hung, and involves the dragon dance, the unicorn dance, the troop review game, and the dance of the girl of easy virtue.
– The Vu Bi Festival (My Loc, Ha Nam province)
The festival is held in the first days of Spring, and is devoted to the Night Soil Collecting Genius who is credited with the use of fertilizers for increasing paddy yield. The Festival is associated with the practice of intensive agriculture. In involves religious ceremonies and a number of games.
– The Lim Festival (Noi Due commune, Tien Son district, Bac Ninh province)
The festival is held from the 13th to 15th days of the 1st lunar month, in honour of Mr. Hieu Trung Hau, the founder of the “Quan ho” song custom involving the organization of male and female teams of “Quan ho” singers which strike acquaintance with one another by means of songs performance. In addition, the festival has a procession, ceremonies, a contest for vegetarian food, a weaving contest, a swing, wrestling, and more.
The main Lim festival takes place in Noi Due commune (Tien Son district) from the 13th to the 15th days of the 1st lunar month.
– The Lang La Festival (Duong Noi commune, Hoai Duc district, Ha Tay province)
The festival is held from the 7th to 14th days of the 1st lunar month, in honour of Duong Canh, a personality during the reign of Hung Kings and the genius of the village. The Festival involves religious ceremonies, “Ca Tru” songs, the “tiger hunting” game in the course of which light is shut out for a few minutes to the delight of young men and women.
– The Thi Cam Rice Cooking Contest (Xuan Phuong commune, Tu Liem district, Ha Noi)
It is held on the 8th day of the 1st lunar month. An important item is a rice-cooking contest in the communal house, comprising various episodes: to run and fetch water, making fire and cooking rice.
– The Phu Ung Festival (An Thi district, Hung Yen province)
The festival is held from the 10th to 25th days of the 1st lunar month, in honour of Pham Ngu Lao, a famous general of the Tran Dynasty who recorded brilliant feast of arms during the wars against the Yuan-Mongolian aggressors. It involves religious ceremonies, including a ceremony of bathing the statues.
– The Hich festival (Hoa Binh commune, Dong Hy district, Thai Nguyen province)
The festival is held on the 15th day of the 1st lunar month and is a spring merry-making occasion of Nung and San Diu ethnic groups. It involves folk song performances.
– The Ben Va Festival (Van Gia village, Ba Vi district, Ha Tay province)
The festival is helf on the 15th day of the 1st lunar month, in honour of the Tan Vien Genius who is credited with having defeated the Floods Genius. In involves religious ceremonies and such game as fishing, “Dam” song performances, human chess, card games with watch towers and more.
The Yen Tu Pagoda Festival (Uong Bi provincial town, Quang Ninh province)
The festival lasts from the 15th day of the 1st lunar month to mid-March. Yen Tu has a cluster of Buddhist monuments ranging from pagodas to stupas and a good number of scenic spots (mountains, forests, brooks).
– The Cua Suot Temple Festival (Cua Ong townlet, Quang Ninh province)
The festival is held on the 15th day of the 1st lunar month, to commemorate Tran Quoc Tang, the third son of Commander-in-Chief Tran Hung Dao, who was credited with brilliant feats of arms in the wars against Mongolian invaders.
In attending the festival, the visitors can also enjoy the beautiful scenery of Van Hoa mountain and Ha Long Bay.
– The Tien La Festival (Vu Thu, Thai Birth province)
The festival is held on the 16th day of the 1st lunar month, in honour of a lady commander of the Trung Sister, Bat Nan Cong Chua. It involves, among other things, a “short stick contest”.
– The Tho Tang Festival (Vinh Tuong, Vinh Phuc province)
The festival is held from the 14th to 23rd days of the 1st lunar month, in honour of Lan Ho, a hero in the war against the Yuan – Mongolian invaders. The festival involves religious ceremonies, a pig contest, a watermelon contest, wrestling, chess game, etc.
– The Tu Phap Festival (Van Lam commune, Yen My district, Hung Yen province)
The festival is held on the 17th day of the 1st lunar month and celebrates 4 Lady Geniuses: Cloud, Rain, Thunder, and Lighting. It is aimed at beseeching rains and reflects the religious beliefs of the agricultural population. It involves Buddhist religious ceremonies.
– The Goi Folk Theatre (cheo) Festival (Tan Hoi commune, Dan Phuong district, Ha Tay province)
The festival is held once every thirty years from the 15th to 21st days of the 1st lunar month. It involves religious dances and songs, ad, in particular, a simulated colourful boating game on land and a procession of wooden elephants.
– The Tho Ha Festival (Van Ha commune, Viet Yen district, Bac Giang province)
The festival is held from the 20th to 22nd days of the 1st lunar month and involves a procession, religious ceremonies, a Buddhist prayers, cock fighting, wrestling, “Quan Ho” song performance, and more.
– The Vi Khe Flower Festival (Bien Xa commune, Nam Truc district, Nam Binh province)
Vi Khe is a traditional flower planting area. The Festival, which is held from the 20th to 30th of the 1st lunar month is designed to provide publicity to various kinds of flowers and trees in pots. It also involves wrestling, martial arts, running contests, and arts performances.
– The Chua To Festival (Van Ty village, Gia Binh district, Bac Ninh province)
The pagoda is also called as Bai Bi pagoda. This is the native village of Huyen Quang, alias Ly Bao Tai, one of the 3 founders of the True Lam Buddhist sect during the Tran Bynasty. The festival involves a contest and procession of cone shaped rice cookies (usual offerings to Buddha), incense presenting ceremonies, wrestling, boat contest, folk arts performances.
– The Bac Le Temple Festival (Tan Thanh commune, Huu Lung district, Lang Son province)
The temple is dedicated to Duc Mau Thuong Ngan, the Lady Genius who rules over the forests. The Festival which lasts from early of the 1st lunar month to mid- 2nd lunar month, involves a procession from the Cung temple to the main temple, symbolizing a vist paid a lower deity to a superior Genius, Bac Mau Thuong Ngan, and various religious ceremonies. Participants in the festival also enjoy their visit to various forests.

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