Vietnamese Traditions

Exploring the Vietnam traditions: What to consider in traveling

Vietnam is profoundly influenced by Asia culture, showing so many differences from Western regions. 

Vietnamese family traditions

Somehow different from other Western countries, family is a noteworthy meaning term in Vietnam. In fact, family and clan (Dòng Họ in Vietnam Words) pretend to be valued over Individualism. In Vietnam, we admire the benefit of family above individual interests. 

The Clan is the most important social unit in Vietnam. Each Clan features a patriarch heading the Clan, who is a respected person taking responsibility for tending the clan altar. These days, the Vietnam tradition of clan members living together in longhouses is pretty prevalent in some parts of our country. It is not weird to see three to four generations living together under the same roof. 

In terms of Vietnam culture and lifestyle, members of a clan are related by blood and often name their villages based on their clan names. We have death commemorations of clan members held annually, attended by the clan member. Interestingly, Nguyen on top of the most prevalent clan names in Vietnam.

Inside Vietnamese family traditions, we own a unique lifestyle called ancestor worship. Similar to other Asia neighbors, our belief support that our pass away ancestors are living another life in a spiritual realm that they need their offspring to worship. In exchange, the ancestors would give fortune and blessings back to the family member's life. 

Each family has a small altar to worship the departed. We would have two times a lunar month to commune flowers, food, fruit, and more on the altar. In those times, you can see most Vietnamese families burn some tapes of colored paper. We believed those could become money to the departed in another realm. 

Vietnamese new year traditions

In Vietnam traditions, the most vital celebration of the year is Tet or lunar new Year. In many parts of the world, it is so called Chinese New Year, commonly held around January and February. Instead of Solar Calendar widely used in the world, the Vietnamese use the Lunar calendar as a kind of meteorological calendar to predict the right time in agriculture. 

Back to Vietnamese new year traditions, we celebrate diverse customs on this occasion. We would make traditional food, redecorate the house, write couplets, and more. Tet pretends to be the time of reunion that people working far from their home town come back to meet their parents. We spend time together and visit relatives with new year greeting. 

  1. Banh Chung- Banh Day: These are two essential traditional food made during the Vietnamese new year, made from sticky rice, pork, green bean, and special seasoning. Banh Chung is wrapped up in a unique leaf. In fact, making those cakes presents prosperity throughout the year of each family. 
  2. New year trees: In some countryside in Vietnam, people still have a habit of setting up a bamboo tree as a piece of decoration during the New Year. It is believed to banish evil spirits and bring fortune to the host. 
  3. New year Couplet: Regarding traditional families, they are more likely to put up a meaningful couplet on two sides of the altar or the main entrain door. Typically, the couplet would be handwritten on red paper along with the meaning of blessing to all family members.

Vietnamese also have several unique cultures for New Year's celebrations. Depending on each part of our countries, you can see different styles in doing new years preparation. However, the common thing at New year's time is people change their cloth for their home. We would have more decoration activities with flowers, decorated trees, light, hand-made items, and more. At this time, our countries become the kingdom of colors and happiness. 

Some selected things in Vietnamese culture

The traditional funeral ceremony in Vietnam is also one of the most impressive Vietnam culture and traditional customs. It is commonly quite elaborate and long-stretched. The dead person's body is cleaned with fragrant water and dressed carefully in unusual clothes. We also consider the outfit color depending on their age. A lot of mourning depends on each tribe and location, showing a slightly different ceremony. Later the body will be buried, the most popular method. Recently, in some areas, offspring chose cremation instead of burying. Interestingly, we have only 1 case of remains in frozen condition, and several cases of monk bodies were kept inside the statues.

According to the conception of the elderly generation in Vietnam traditions, men and women cannot touch their hands unless they are getting married. Accordingly, many Vietnamese people refused to hug in the meeting. Instead, they say ” Xin Chao” or handshake. Citizens talk gently and quietly, while people coming from the countryside or the sea talk loudly. Since they work on the farm or ocean, they keep talking even louder than the wind or the waves.

Top 5 cultural traditions in Vietnam: Unique event to experience

Regarding Vietnam traditions, there are unlimited things to share that we need a massive library of books to cover. In this article, World Mate Travel shows you with top 5 cultural traditions in Vietnam that impress tourists the most.

Water Puppetry: Traditional arts

One of the most incredible arts in Vietnam culture is Water Puppetry, which combines learning and performance. The early 11th Century witnessed the most innovation in Puppet art features. The ancient Asian found a way to skillfully control the puppets by using bamboo rods. The puppeteers control varieties behind the black screen to tell stories about Vietnam culture and lifestyle, including legends, myths, daily lifestyle, historical heroes, and so many scenario versions. 

By enjoying a water puppetry performance, audiences could learn more about Vietnam while entertaining interesting stories. Unfortunately, there is a limited location, which is still maintaining Water Puppetry performances. In Hanoi, you can visit the Hanoi Water Puppet Theater to explore the air. 

Floating Market Surprise even Master Chefs 

What do you think about traveling around the market by small boat to explore local specialties and foods? In the Southern part of Vietnam, floating Markets are something special for tourists and locals. You can find a unique experience to taste cuisine right in the river. Recommended floating markets:

  • Can Tho- Cai Rang: for the wholesale market for fresh fruit, rice noodles, and other local food sold on boats
  • Tien Giang- Cai be: sell fruits, vegetables, and plates of seafood

City Relaxing tour with Rickshaw

A rickshaw has two or three wheels, a Vietnamese traditional vehicle used in cities. Those vehicles are currently used for carrying passengers enjoying the city tour. Instead of transportation, rickshaws are more likely a tourist attraction and an incredible part for travelers to try in Hanoi, Hoi An, or some other ancient cities in Vietnam. 

Booking a Rickshaw trip, tourists could explore the local city life by asking the driver to take a trip to some cultural or historical icons. With Rickshaw, you might enjoy another Vietnam tradition called price negotiation, in which skillful travelers save money by asking for discounts during shopping. 

Traditional Customs of Ancient Vietnamese

In modern life, Vietnamese only wear traditional customs on special occasions, including New Year, festival times, or worship ceremonies. Throughout the historical length, the traditional custom development is associated with commune living.

One of the most popular customs for Vietnamese women calls “Ao Dai”. We usually wear it for New Year or engagement ceremonies. Vietnamese women believed that Ao Dai fit their bodies, making them better look. In many parts, Ao dai is also used as a school uniform, representing the innocence and purity of schoolgirls. 

Apart from Ao Dai, we have many traditional customs, showing the identity of each feudal dynasty. Some are still in use today, while others can only be found in museums. 

Wedding tradition in Vietnam

Weddings in Vietnam earlier were arranged mainly by parents. In the past, people were married very young. However, with the Immigration of Western lifestyle and mindset, things have changed so much in recent years. Vietnamese youth enjoy greater freedom in choosing the time of their marriage and their partner rather than following the command of their parents. Weddings are still mainly held in the traditional manner with elaborate rituals and ceremonies. The wedding date had never been decided by the bride and groom, carefully selected by the feng shui master or the most respected man in the clan.



Why Book With Us

Best price guaranteed
Close and continuous attention throughout the trip
Exclusive customized trips so that nothing is missing
Local agency with a professional and accessible team


Create your best trip


How can we help you?