Will you happen to be in Hue during Vietnamese Lunar New Year? Then this post is for you to understand what Tet holiday is, what beautiful traditions are being carried out thorough 7 days of Tet. And most importantly for you is how best to experience Tet Holiday in Hue, Vietnam.
Also, there will be travel tips during Tet at the end of this blog so don’t miss out some great insider information for your trip to Hue ancient city.
What is Tết?
Lunar New Year, also called “Tet sum hop” is an meaningful time in a year when all the members of a family try to make their way home and stop their busy life for a family union in their motherland. Tet is also an opportunity for people to express their respect and remembrance for their ancestors.
Its exact date falls differently each year. Usually taken place at the beginning of January and February your calendar and the very beginning of our lunar calendar (don’t twist your brain here, we’ll do the math for you, read on below to find out when Tet 2019 is celebrated).
So when is Tết officially celebrated?
Tet holiday in 2019 will officially start from 2 Feb 2019 to 9 Feb 2019. However, as you might be aware that Vietnamese are early birds. We love to prepare things ahead of time, especially Tet holiday. So in this case, 2 week before the end of our lunar New Year is when Tet starts.
By the time you read this post, you find it difficult to book flight, bus and tour services around the country, right? That’s because there is a huge flock of domestic travellers trying to make their way home for their loved ones.
Plus, markets seem more vibrants, street full of flowers, people seem hurry.
That’s the beautiful sign of Tet!
Tet 2019 will be the year of Pig. Representing for prosperity and fertility, you will see many Golden Pigs decors this year as you travel.
Wonder what we do during our holiday?
Traditions during Tet Holiday
Sending the Kitchen God to Heaven on December 23rd
You hear it right! We have
Usually, ceremonies are simple with cakes, candies and tea. And the main purpose for this is for them to report what has happened in the family last year.
The main transportation for them to get to heaven is the carp fish. Thus, there will be a huge demand in the market for this kind of fish and you find many local residents release fish into ponds or rivers as a way to help our Kitchen God go to heaven safe and sound.
Wrapping Chung Cake
The custom of Chung Cake package has become the traditional culture of the Vietnamese nation. It originates in ancient times to show the beauty of the wet rice culture.
Therefore, when Tet comes, family members will gather and pack Chung cake together near a big fire in their garden.
The Chung Cake also shows the harmony of heaven. What is more, it contains the dreams of Vietnamese about a prosperous and peaceful new year. You can read more of what Chung Cake is and its meaning in the post 6 best Traditional Tet Food you must try.
Family reunion and Tất niên
Family reunion is what makes Tet meaningful. Tất niên, meaning Year Wrapping-Up, is also part of the cultural value of Vietnamese people during the Lunar New Year.
Traditions includes cleaning the house, decorating ancestor’s altars with flowers, fruits and a feast.
Then everyone will gather around a feast and tell each other sad or happy stories in the past year.
Welcoming Giao thừa – New Year’s Eve
Giao Thua or New Year’s Eve is the moment to transfer the old year to the new year. In this one important moment, heaven and earth harmonize, thus, people seem to immerse themselves in the silence of the night and aspire for a better year for their family.
According to the customs from ancient times, family will offer an outdoor ceremony and offerings in the house. They will prepare carefully to welcome the first visit to a family in the new year and bring the luck into the house.
Thus, the moment between the 30th in December and the 1st of January is the most important moment of the Lunar New Year.
Visiting family in first three days of new year
This tradition is undoubtedly the most awaited Tet’s activity of all Vietnamese, especially the children. We as individual in the family must visit our grandparents, uncles and aunties and anyone close in your extended family on the first day. The second day will be dedicated for mother side and the third day for our teachers.
Accompanying with family visit is the “li xi” or giving out lucky money to elderly and young children as a way to wish them health and do better at school.
Tet Nguyen Tieu
First Full Moon Festival actually originated in China. It takes place on the 15th of the first lunar month every year and becomes beauty in the spiritual culture of the Vietnamese people. Thus, it is an important part of the Lunar New Year.
In Vietnam, Tet Nguyen Tieu is an occasion for people to go to the temple to pray for peace, health, prosperity and development for the residents and the country.
How best to experience Tet Holiday in Hue, Vietnam?
Now that you know what Tet is and traditions practiced during Tet, let’s see our ideas below of how you can make it a memorable Tet holiday in Hue.
Before New Year Eve: 1 – 3 Feb
Visit flower market in front of Hue Citadel
If you happen to arrive in Hue in one of those days, walking with family or friend to the Hue Citadel will fill you with spring’s colors and fragrance.
Visitors will immerse themselves in a colorful picture of hundreds of flowers in the market. There are many photo opportunity taken and food corners around the area.
Discovering Hue Imperial City
Traveling in Hue, visitors should not miss a walking tour in Hue Imperial City. Especially, this Hue attractions will be decorated with stunning flower pots as a way to show respect to our Nguyen Emperors from local residents.
Spending an afternoon to conquer Hue Citadel, you certainly will not disappoint if you are a fan of history. Best to book a tour guide service at the ticket booth or consider booking a Hue Walking Tour in Imperial City here.
New Year Eve: 4 February 2019
Watch firework at Ngo Mon square
Visitors not only enjoy the old beauty from the royal palaces but also witness 1000 fireworks at Ngo Mon Square at midnight of 4 February. It will be the performances with careful investment in quality, full of promising to tourists in this Tet holiday 2019.
Address: Ngo Mon Square, Hue Citadel.
Time: New Year Eve
You can see the map here
After New Year Eve: 5 February – 8 February
Pray for your health at Thien Mu pagoda
For a long time, going to the pagoda at the beginning of the year has become a cultural feature of Vietnamese people.
In particular, Thien Mu Pagoda seems to have become a symbol of Hue where attracts a large number of tourists every Tet holiday.
Coming to Thien Mu Pagoda, visitors not only enjoy the ancient beauty, the poetic of the Huong River but also listen to the mysterious stories and myths about pagodas to understand about the magical land.
Book a Tet Food Tour with Home visit
If you are in Hue during Tet and wonder how Vietnamese celebrate their Lunar New Year holiday, this is a wonderful option for you.
This special Hue Food Tour is a cultural and experiential tour unlike any other in Hue. You get the chance to visit a local host family home and participate in their ritual tradition in one of their first 5 days of Lunar New Year.
Especially, a feast that has the most delicious Tet food will be a treat for you to reward your keen of learning and curiosity for Vietnamese Tet holiday.
Ring peace bell at Huyen Tran Cong Chua temple
In the warm atmosphere of spring, it’s easy to see images of domestic and foreign tourists on the roads leading to Huyen Tran Cong Chua temple.
Known as a pilgrimage site for peace lovers, Huyen Tran Temple has become a must-visit fo local residents on their many first day of New Year.
You can also come here to take the challenge of climbing on top of Huyen Tran mountain to ring the peace bell wishing for a new year of joy and peace in the world.
Address: 151 Thien Thai, Hue city
Time opening: 07:00
Entrance fee: 50,000 VND/ Adult
Try you luck in Chi Lang Gia Hoi town
If the imperial city of Hue and the tomb of the Nguyen dynasties are the remnants of the old dynasty in the past, the Chi Lang-Gia Hoi road is the “imprint” that still not faded of the residents in magic land. Nowadays, on Chi Lang street, many historical relics for Hue cultural flow are still preserved.
In here, you can visit Phuoc Kien and Quang Dong Assembly Hall to try your luck. This is a custom many local residents do as well. If you wonder where it is, read this article about Chi Lang Gia Hoi here.
Cycle to Thanh Thuy Chanh village
In particular, coming to Thanh Toan Tile Bridge in Tet holiday, visitors will participate in the “Country Market Festival” and enjoy the Bai Choi Game which promise you a great experience during Tet holiday in Hue.
Read more of how to get to Thanh Toan bridge here.
Book a tour to Thanh Toan bridge during Tet holiday here.
Hue Travel Tip during Tet Holiday
Transportation to/ within Hue
Participating in traffic on Tet always contains many risks due to fun and partying. Thus, you should equip essential skills to prevent potential risks when driving.
Here are the best solutions for you to drive safely during spring trips:
1. Select a safe transportation
On Tet holiday, there should be a specific plan if you have to go away. The fact that, motorbikes are only suitable for short distances. Thus, cars will be a quite safe vehicle when choosing a long way. If the distance is over 300km, you should choose to travel by train or plane.
2. Plan ahead
Planning in advance is necessary because it makes you more proactive including the route, price and number of tickets. Usually, ticket prices including rental motorbike or car, bus, airplane tend to increase up during Tet. Therefore, if you want to save your money and do not hinder your schedule, then build a detailed plan as soon as possible.
3. Prepare well when driving
If you are riding a motorbike, you have to observe and check the vehicle system. You must make sure that It is really safe before operating.
For private car, many company close during Tet holiday, however, you can check out Hue private car by Bee Bee Travel if needing a safe driver for your trip to Hue before and during Tet holiday.
Sightseeing in Hue
The bad news: many museums, indoors exhibition place and art houses will be closed for at least 4 days, from January 1 Feb 2019 to 9 Feb 2019. However, Hue Imperial City, all Hue Imperial tombs will be open still.
The good news: beach will be empty, cities will be vacant (on the actual date of Tet) – overall a great time for those who enjoy the tranquility.
You can turn both of these news to your advantage, however, by planning your itinerary accordingly: visit the museums and such just before or after Tet, and during Tet, relax yourself or with your loved ones in a walk around Hue Imperial City or sunbathing in Thuan An beach or Lang Co Beach.
Accommodation in Hue
We recommend you to book homestay during Tet Holiday in Hue to best experience with a local host. Here are wonderful homestays with great hosts that we recommend.
Homestay Mosaic Garden
Address: Van Duong village, Thuy Van commune, Huong Thuy town, Hue city.
Price: 200,000 VND-500,000VND/ Night
Homestay Mosaic Garden is designed follow modern and simple architecture. House’s architecture brings the harmony about colors to the whole house. In addition, a friendly host will give you a real feeling of a family.
Address: Minh Mang street, Hue city
Price: 150,000 VND-300,000 VND/Night/ Adult
Vu homestay contains the peaceful features of the countryside. Therefore, you will look like a local people when living in this homestay. Visitors will enjoy the fresh atmosphere and relax the soul. Although looking simple, but each house still has full facilities, furniture. What is more, Vu Homestay is also one of Hue cheap homestay for tourists when traveling.
Address: 42 Le Huan street, Thuan Hoa ward, Hue city
Price: Around 140,000 VND/ night/ Adult
TinTin Hostel gives visitors curiosity about this strange space. This hostel remains a simple, convenient frame with white and beige tones. Although it is not too large, however, it is very suitable for those who like warmth, friendly. Hence, if you travel alone, you will not feel lonely because of the warmth house.
Also, in case the above options all booked out, try these wonderful hotels which open during Tet holiday in Hue:
Address: Chu Van An street, Hue city.
Price: Around 500,000 VND/ Adult
Jasmine Hotel is designed with elegant architecture combined with modern and luxurious space. You will be easy to see the peaceful, charming of Huong River from this hotel. Jasmine Hotel will create unforgettable feelings throughout the journey to discover the beauty of past and present in Hue.
Duy Tan Hotel
Address: 12 Hung Vuong street, Phu Hoi Ward, Hue city.
Price: 600,000 VND-800,000 VND/ Adult
Duy Tan Hotel is located in the romantic Hue city center. It achieves 3-star standard equipped with modern facilities and reasonable price. Coming to Duy Tan Hotel Hue, you will enjoy the friendly atmosphere, professional service style of experienced staff.
Food and drink
Don’t worry about the ideal place! Here are best Hue restaurants that open still during Tet holiday.
Address: 11 Phó Đức Chinh, Hue city
In the first time visit romantic Hue city, tourists should start at this busy restaurant to enjoy Hue specialties. Ordering the five-dish set in the menu (120,000 VND) for a speedy lesson of banh khoai, banh beo and nem lui. These are combo three traditional cake in Hue. No doubt, You will enjoy the taste of Hue in every dish.
Address: 16/34 Nguyễn Tri Phương street, Phú Hội Ward, Hue city
Opening hour: 8:00am
The space is quite wide on golden tones to create a warm feeling. In particular, the restaurant with an abundant system of dishes will satisfy any grumpy customer. It’s a cute restaurant hidden in a small alleyway, check it out, you won’t be disappointed.
Shinosushi Japanese Restaurant
Address: 77 Nguyen Sinh Cung street, Hue city.
Opening hour: 13:30-16:00
You are a Japanese tourist or you come from another country who wants to enjoy the taste of traditional Japanese food in dear Hue city. Kyodai Japanese Restaurant is probably the address you should “pocket”.
Le Jardin de la Carambole
Address: 32 Dang Tran Con street, Thuan Hoa ward, Hue city.
Opening hour: 08:00-22:00
Les Jardins De La Carambole is located in a colonial-era villa. Coming to here, diners can enjoy authentic French, Italian, Vietnamese cuisine in a classy space. Especially, visitors can enjoy the romantic beauty of Perfume River and Hue City Centre from this restaurant.
It will not be difficult if you want to find entertainment location in Hue during this time because Bar will open during Tet holiday.
Here are a list of bar for you
Address: 60 Le Loi street, Phu Hoi ward, Hue city
Opening hour: 07:30-02:00
Rustic Bar and kitchen
Address: 46 Pham Ngu Lao, Hue city.
Opening hour: 16:00- 00:00
Address: 53 Ham Nghi, Hue city.
Opening hour: 06:30-22:30
Address: 56 Chu Van An, Phu Hoi ward, Hue city.
Opening hour: 17:00-00:00
Are you ready experience Tet Holiday in Hue?
Come join us now for many wonderful activities in Hue during our Lunar New Year festival! You will have the opportunity to fully experience traditional Hue cuisine with Tet Food Tour and explore any corner of this beautiful city with local friend.
If you have question or need a company during Tet, do not hesitate to contact Bee Bee Travel now for a joyful time in Hue.