National Holidays in Vietnam 2019-2020

The Vietnamese have a few occasions for public holidays each year which are normally combined with weekend holidays and that makes the whole observed holidays very long ones. Besides some Vietnamese holidays are based on the lunar calendar which makes it even more complicated to most Western travelers.

 Having a trip in Vietnam during the Vietnamese holidays could be a good or not so good experience depending on your individual travel interest, on how big your budget is and how well in advance you are prepared for it.

Below you can find the major public/national holidays in Vietnam in 2019-2020.

A man carrying a Tet tree in Hanoi
A man carrying a Tet tree in Hanoi

1/Vietnamese holidays in January
- The International New Year Day:
1 day for public holiday on 1-January.
If the observed holiday is long, then people travel far, else families just stay around the cities. Tourists attractions in cities, pagodas, temples, restaurants… are crowded. During this time, it is the winter in the North, the rainy season and cool season in the Central Coast, and the dry season with lovely temperatures in the Central Highlands and South of Vietnam.

The beaches in the North and in the Central Coast are often not too crowded during this holiday in comparison with those holidays in the summer.

The Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi before Tet
The Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi before Tet

 

Street restaurants in Hanoi before Tet
Street restaurants in Hanoi before Tet

- The Vietnamese Lunar New Year - Tet Holidays (normally in late January or early February depending on each year)
The official and national holidays for the Vietnamese Tet include the last day of a lunar year and first 3 days of a lunar year. If these days fall on weekend, then extra day(s) should be added to make up the Tet Holidays.

Tet in 2020 is on 25-January-2020, hence public holidays are from 24-January through 27-January-2020. The final observed holidays shall need official approval by the Vietnamese Prime Minister.

Tet holidays mean crowded traffic, reckless drive, overbooked flights and trains, closing of restaurants and shops, high prices… Tourist attractions, temples and pagodas...are open.

Tet in Saigon at night
Tet in Saigon at night

2/Vietnamese holidays in February
Tet holidays could be in February depending on each year. There are no Vietnamese public holidays in February in 2020.

3/Vietnamese holidays in April
The Vietnamese national holidays in April include:

- The Death Anniversary of Hung Kings (1 day on the 10th of the 3rd lunar calendar which is in April)
Those plan to visit the Hung Kings’ Temple in Phu Tho, then it is advisable you make the trip a few days before the official day. During the official day for ceremonies, then the whole city of Viet Tri and the temples are too crowded. Security and safety conditions may not be good.

Hung Kings' Temple during the Death Anniversary
Hung Kings' Temple during the Death Anniversary

- The Re-unification Day (1 day on 30-April)

Long holiday in warm weather all over Vietnam means people travel to the sea, the islands, the beaches and the mountains. These places are extremely crowded. Those plan to travel to Sapa, then check if they have enough water up there, as this little mountain town has expanded too quickly without preparing adequately the infrastructure for water supply to meet the huge demands.

4/The Vietnamese holidays in May
The Vietnamese enjoy 1 day on 1-May (International Labor Day) for public holidays. This holiday is normally combined with Re-unification Holidays and weekend holidays to make up very very long holidays in Vietnam. Tourist attractions are too crowded and travelers should know of this. Do allow for plenty of time if you have to catch a flight or a train during these days as there may be traffic jams for several hours.

The Vietnamese public holidays in April-May are normally very long and the weather is hot all over the country. People travel a lot to seaside areas, beaches and hill stations. Places are crowded and prices are very high.

5/The Vietnamese holidays in September
The Vietnamese National Day is 2-September which is a major public holiday occasion. It is the end of school summer holidays and families normally travel a lot if the observed holiday is long enough. Places are crowded and traffic jams are the norm.