Embark on a captivating journey through Vietnam’s rich cultural tapestry with our exploration of Vietnamese New Year celebrations in Hanoi vs HCM City. Uncover the unique traditions, vibrant festivities, and essential travel insights to make the most of your Vietnam vacation package during the enchanting Lunar New Year period. Join us as we compare the two dynamic cities, offering a glimpse into the heart of Tet and guiding you on an unforgettable cultural experience.

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Tet is one of the most special events in Vietnam

New Year In Hanoi

For an immersive holiday experience, Vietnam’s capital stands out as a top destination. Hanoi’s streets come alive with vibrant floral displays and festive artworks, fostering a joyful ambiance. As night falls, enchanting lantern arrangements illuminate city corners. Exploring local temples and flower markets is a beloved tradition embraced by both visitors and locals alike during this celebratory season. The enchanting mural street- Phung Hung is an unmissable gem in your Vietnam vacation package during Tet in this city. Recently restored, the downtown street boasts numerous mural paintings depicting “old Hanoi,” drawing crowds on weekends and holidays.

In addition, visitors can dive into the traditional Tet ambiance at the Ma May ancient house, where you can witness reenacted scenes, from the making and tasting of “Banh Chung” to kitchen god worship and the preparation of festive dishes—a captivating journey into Vietnamese customs and culture.

New Year In HCM City

While Tet in Vietnam’s most significant city shares similarities with others, the experience here is marked by a heightened dynamism and vibrancy. Visitors can explore the city’s festive spirit with a stroll around Flower Street – Nguyen Hue in District 1, a focal point of the holiday celebrations. Here, you can witness a spectacular event where diverse flowers from across the nation are creatively arranged, reflecting the annual theme inspired by the zodiac animal (2024 being the Wood Dragon).

As New Year graces every doorstep, Cho Lon dons its most vibrant and crowded attire. As the city’s bustling trade center and hub for decoration materials, this market is the epicenter for experiencing the holiday atmosphere.
Home to the Hoa people, who preserve traditional customs and embrace Vietnamese practices, New Year here becomes a lively and captivating spectacle. Never miss a tour of this festive haven by pedicabs to witness the rich tapestry of customs and traditions that make Tet in this market a genuinely engaging and visually stunning experience.

Differences Between Hanoi’s Tet and Saigon’s Tet

Tet Flowers

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Peach Flowers are the symbol of Tet in North Vietnam

In Hanoi, Tet is adorned with peach flowers, cherished for their symbolic peace and elegance. Meanwhile, in HCM City, the holiday is synonymous with apricot blossoms, representing wealth, happiness, and longevity. Southerners prefer trees with numerous buds, placing them inside or outside homes to usher in good luck and prosperity, creating a vibrant and auspicious ambiance throughout the festive season.

Five-fruit Tray Decoration

Throughout Vietnam, the fruit tray holds deep symbolism, embodying five elements: fire, wood, water, earth, and metal. In Hanoi, this tray consistently features a bunch of green bananas, believed to be essential for invoking the Buddha’s protective and blessing presence. The Northern Vietnamese emphasize freshness and vibrancy, opting for a diverse selection such as dragon fruit, watermelon, tangerines, finger citron, and peppers. This arrangement not only pleases the eye but also carries profound spiritual meaning during the festive season.

The fruit tray in HCM city diverges from its northern counterpart. Southerners refrain from including bananas due to their homophonic resemblance to the word “chúi,” signifying a year of unhappiness and lack of success. Similarly, oranges and tangerines are avoided, believed to bring ill fortune to the household.

Traditional Food

The culinary traditions during this special occasion in Northern and Southern Vietnam showcase both regional specialties and shared elements. While there is a common thread of traditional dishes throughout the country, there are some notable differences in the types of foods and regional specialties that people may choose to include in their Tet feasts.

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Traditional Food during Tet holiday

In Hanoi, New Year celebrations are incomplete without sticky rice cakes. Banh Chung’s square shape symbolizes the earth, while Banh Giay’s round form represents the sky, signifying a desire for balance in the upcoming year. These cakes are a communal creation, with families gathering to craft them on the eve of New Year.

While Banh Chung is more common in the north, people often prepare Banh Tet in the south. This is a cylindrical version of the sticky rice cake filled with mung beans and pork. In addition, fresh spring rolls filled with shrimp, pork, herbs, and vermicelli noodles are a popular Tet dish. They are light and refreshing, contrasting with some of the heavier traditional Tet foods.

Travel in Vietnam During Tet

Traveling in Vietnam during Tet can be a unique and culturally rich experience as Tet is the most significant holiday in Vietnam, and being there during this time allows travelers to witness and participate in traditional customs and celebrations. The entire country is in a festive mood, with colorful decorations, parades, and cultural events taking place. It can be an exciting time to explore local traditions and festivities. However, it is crucial to consider some drawbacks before planning your Vietnam vacation package to ensure a truly memorable experience:

  • Transportation challenges: Transportation can be challenging as many travel to be with their families. Trains and buses may be crowded, and flights may be limited or more expensive.
  • Limited availability: Some services, such as banking and government offices, may be closed or have reduced hours during this time. This can impact travelers needing certain services.
  • Accommodation costs: Especially in popular tourist destinations, accommodation prices may increase during this event. It’s advisable to book accommodations well in advance to secure reasonable rates.


As the Tet festivities in Hanoi and HCM City come to a close, your Vietnam vacation package becomes a cherished collection of cultural memories. Embrace the vibrant traditions, savor the unique flavors, and relish the warmth of the locals. Whether in the historic charm of Hanoi or the bustling energy of HCM City, your journey through Tet illuminates the essence of Vietnam. Plan your next Lunar New Year adventure with our travel guide, ensuring an immersive experience that resonates long after the lanterns have dimmed and the fireworks have faded.

Vietnam Fast Tours

“Spare your time, Florish your travel”, Vietnam Fast Tours provide fully private personalized holiday packages at highgest quality services. As a local tour operator based in Vietnam, the company offers wide range of travel styles from family hoildays, adventure tours, beach vacation, honeymoon tours to luxury spa & wellness holiday to Southeast Asia. With Vietnam Fast Tours, the clients will experience Southeast Asia in their own way.

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