Vietnam is changing policy on holiday to have long weekends instead of scattering days off throughout the year. Most public holidays are to observe important historic events or celebrate cultural values among Vietnamese. Some holiday varies from year to year due to the time difference between Lunar and Solar calendar: about half of the official holidays follow the Gregorian calendar and half based on Lunar Calendar.
Public institutions are closed on public holidays, while some stores and restaurants will remain open to serve guests during these holidays. The most important holiday in a year, Tet holiday, sees the massive change in the operation of companies and people’s lives so plan your travel carefully if you plan to visit Vietnam during these periods.
New Year (1 January)
Like most countries in the world, Vietnamese also celebrate the worldwide New year on the 1st of January. This is considered a public holiday and so all offices such as government’s ones and banks will be closed. Services for tourists and nationals remain by and large open.
Lunar New Year – Tet holiday (late January – mid-February)
Lunar New Year is the most important event in a year, which often takes place between late Jan or early Feb (see table below for details). During this long holiday (from 5 – 9 days), most people will take time off, including restaurants and many tourist services.
Hung King Festival (early April)
Hung King Festival has officially become a national holiday since 2000, celebrated on March 10th of Lunar Calendar. The holiday is officially 1 day long but many people combine it into the adjacent weekend to make it a long one. On this occasion, banks and offices are closed but restaurants and services resume as normal.
Reunification Day – Labour Day (April 30th – May 1st)
Reunification day marks the reunification of Vietnam which dated back to 1975. The subsequent day is Labour day and considered a public holiday in Vietnam. There are usually marches, parades, and performances on these holidays
Independence Day (September 2)
On September 2nd, 1945, President Ho Chi Minh officially declared Vietnam free from colonial force and since then, the people of Vietnam have been celebrating the occasion annually. Many take advantage of the opportunity to travel while others choose to reflect on this historical event by visiting Ba Dinh square and Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum.