April is between the 2nd and 3rd month of the lunar calendar and is around late spring, early summer in the North, cool in Central and not yet the rainy season in the South. April is considered good time for a trip to visit Vietnam.
Vietnam is quick a favorite travel destination not only in Southeast Asia but also all over the world for the country nature beauties and government tourism development policies. Tourists can easily find Vietnam travel information as well as Vietnam tours on internet or tour operators near their home.
In the North of Vietnam, April is really best time of the year with green trees, green rice fields, followers… It is the time tourists can swim in Ha Long Bay, wear shorts in Mai Chau or Sapa…
In the Central, explorers can choose Phong Nha Ke Bang or even Son Doong cave beside famous attractions Hue, Da Nang and Hoi An
The South is of course famous with the Mekong delta tours and beaches with Nha Trang, Muine and Phu Quoc island
April is also the month with many festivals from the North to the South.
HUNG KINGS FESTIVAL (Hội Đền Hùng)
Hung Kings’ Temple is located in Phong Chau District, Phu Tho Province (~90KM from Hanoi). Every year, this national festival is held to worship the Hung Kings, who were instrumental in founding the nation.
The main festival lasts for 3 days from the 9th to the 11th of the 3rd lunar month. The worship service is held on the 10th day and commences with a flower ceremony with the participation of state representatives. Held in Thuong Temple, where the Hung Kings used to worship deities with full rituals, the ceremony consists of a lavish five-fruit feast. Cakes and glutinous rice dumpling are also served to remind people of the Lang Lieu Legend (the 18th Hung King who invented these cakes), and the merit of the Hung Kings who taught people to grow rice.
Next to the stage procession for deities, there are several marches in the procession, such as the elephant march followed by the procession chair. These procession marches are conducted in Tien Cuong, Hy Cuong, Phuong Giao, and Co Tich Villages. The procession marches are followed by a Xoan song performance (a classical type of song) in the Thuong Temple, “Ca Tru” (a kind of classical opera) in Ha temple, and other activities.
The Hung Temple Festival not only attracts visitors from all over and allows visitors to participate in special traditional cultural activities, but it is also a sacred trip back in time to the origins of the Vietnamese culture. People usually show their love and pride of their homeland and ancestral land. This religious belief is deeply imbedded in the minds of every Vietnamese citizen, regardless of where they originate.
Though the main festival is during above mentioned time but tourists can visit the site any time of the year.
In 2017, the 10th day of the 3rd lunar month fall on 6 April 2017
In 2018, the 10th day of the 3rd lunar month fall on 25 April 2018
CHU DONG TU FESTIVAL
This festival occurs for three days from the 10th – 12th of the third lunar month in Chu Dong Tu Temple in Du Hoa Village, Chau Giang District, Hung Yen province (~30 km from Hanoi).
Saint Chu Dong Tu was one of the “four immortal heroes” at the center of Vietnamese society. Chu Dong Tu was a cultural hero and the founder of agriculture because he conquered the marsh and developed agriculture and trade. After the opening ceremony, there is a procession to remind people of the legend, life, and work of Saint Chu Dong Tu and his two wives.
Starting date in Western calendar in 2017: 06 April
Starting date in Western calendar in 2018: 25 April
‘LE MAT’ SNAKE FESTIVAL
Le Mat Village belongs to the Viet Hung Commune, Gia Lam District, Hanoi. The Le Mat Village Festival is held annually on the 23rd of the 3rd lunar month. In the early morning on the 23rd day of the 3rd month, representatives of the 13 camps to the west of the Ancient Capital of Thang Long carry 13 trays of food over their heads from the capital to the Le Mat Village.
At the beginning of the festival, water and carp processions are staged and brought to the Thanh Communal House. This ritual reminds the present generation of the heroic accomplishments of exploiting and bringing about agriculture to the village. A snake act is then performed in the yard of the communal house. The snake (made of bamboo taped with cloth) symbolizes the water-monster species that has been bitten by the power and will of youth. The music of this act is an octet and the sound of the drummer’s double rhythm is haunting. The Le Mat Village Festival provides an opportunity for children in the village, and those who have reclaimed this ancient wasteland in the city, to meet and retell the history of the establishment of the village. The challenge and difficulty that was encountered in the establishment of the village is expressed in the sincere homage of the ancestors of the village.
In addition to the ceremony, the Le Mat people have a special talent for catching snakes. While attending the Le Mat Village Festival, guests are offered a cup of snake wine made from three or five snakes.
Starting date in Western calendar in 2017: 19 April
Starting date in Western calendar in 2018: 8 May
The Whale Festival has been, for centuries, the biggest water festival of the fishermen in Quang Nam, Danang province. The worshipping of the whale is not only about paying respect to their God, but also about ensuring prosperity for the villagers. This festival last for two days in the middle of the 3rd lunar month. On this occasion, the whale temple, as well as all the houses and boats, are beautifully decorated. The peace offering is conducted in the first evening at the whale temple by village elders. Offerings, which do not contain seafood, are given while the oration is read out. The ceremony is held to respect the Whale God and to pray for the safety and prosperity of the village.
At dawn the following day, there will be a procession of boats on the sea in a set formation. This procession displays the sincerity of fishermen to their Whale God. By midnight, the official ceremony is conducted as school children offer incense and the orchestra plays a classical opera. All the fishing boats and villagers, no matter where they are, will return to take part in the Whale Festival.
Starting date in Western calendar in 2017: 11 April
ELEPHANT RACE FESTIVAL
This festival is held in the spring, around the 3rd month of the lunar calendar. It is usually held in Don Village or in forests near the Sevepoi River (Dac Lak). The race track is on even ground where there are only has a few big trees. The width of the track is large enough for 10 elephants to stand in a line at the same time and the length of the track runs 1-2 km.
With the signal of the horn (a wind instrument), the mahouts command their elephants to go to the starting line. When the command to start the race is released, all of the elephants rush ahead, excited by the sound of the drums, gongs, and cheering from the viewers. At the end of the race, the winning elephants lift their trunks above their heads to wave to the viewers. They walk deliberately flapping their ears gently, gazing through half-closed eyes to receive sugarcane from their viewers.
The elephant race is the biggest festival in the middle highland. It bears the martial spirit of the M’Nong ethnic group, who are very famous for their bravery and skill in hunting wild elephants.
Best Vietnam tours if you travel to Vietnam in April:
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