What to know about the vietnamese culture


Vietnamese Traditions

Vietnam has a rich history of traditions, culture, & values. In this lesson, we"ll explore the traditions, ceremonies, & celebrations và learn more about societal values và cultural norms.

Modest dress is the norm in Vietnam. Traditional dress has varied over time dependent on the country"s ruler. Currently, the traditional national dress is the ao dai. The ao dai is worn by women & men. It is a silk tunic with pants underneath. It often has a matching headpiece. This is worn on special occasions. In the south, the women wear a ba ba. This is a buttoned, scoop neck blouse with a conical hat. In the north, traditional dress for women is called the ao tu than, meaning dress of four parts. This dress has a sash in the front & is worn with a round, flat hat. The ao dẻo is often worn on new years; red is symbolic of luck. White and black are symbolic of mourning.

Ao dai


Vietnamese Weddings và Funerals

Prior to a Vietnamese wedding, there is a proposal ceremony, engagement ceremony, và months of preparation. The wedding day begins with lighting incense and praying at the groom"s house. This tradition is meant to welcome the bride & pay respects to lớn the groom"s ancestors. The nuptial ceremony starts with the bride & groom performing rituals together such as exchanging rings and drinks. A feast with music and toasts is held after the ceremony. Traditionally, the feast is held at the groom"s house, but many modern couples are choosing lớn have it at a wedding hall.

At a Vietnamese funeral, it is important to show respect & prepare the deceased for their afterlife. Close relatives wear a trắng robe over their clothes & a trắng headband. Other relatives may just wear a trắng headband. Before the funeral, the family will prepare an altar for the dead. The body is then washed, dressed in formal clothes, & wrapped in trắng cloth. The wake may last three lớn five days. The family has music playing & food for the visitors to lớn stop by. At the funeral, attendees start by visiting the altar to lớn pray and burn incense. They often bring a monetary gift for the family. The funeral procession is very important in Vietnamese culture. It is led by the eldest son in the family.

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Tet Nguyen Dan

Tet Nguyen Dan, or lunar new year, is the biggest celebration of the year in Vietnam. The date of Tet changes from year khổng lồ year based on the lunisolar calendar, but it usually falls in late January or early February. Tet is celebrated for three consecutive days. Some of the traditions are celebrated for a whole week. The first day is celebrated with family. The second day is usually spent visiting friends. The last day is spent visiting temples, paying respect lớn ancestors, and paying respect to lớn teachers. Special meals và traditions are had during this time. Sweeping, cutting the hair, & trimming the nails are all avoided during this time because they are thought lớn ward off good luck for the new year.

Civic Holidays

Liberation Day is also known as Reunification Day or Victory Day và it is celebrated each year on April 30th. This holiday commemorates the end of the Vietnam war & the reunification of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam in the North và the Republic of Vietnam in the South.

National Day is celebrated on September 2nd. It commemorates Vietnam"s declaration of independence from France in 1945. It is celebrated with speeches, parades, and fireworks.

Religious và Family Holidays

Wandering Souls Day is the second-largest celebration of the year in Vietnam. It is celebrated on the 15th day of the 7th month, or if not convenient, any time during the second half of the month. The Vietnamese believe that each person has two souls: a spiritual soul và a material soul. After death, the soul is sent khổng lồ heaven or hell based on their earthly conduct. They believe that those sent to lớn hell can be absolved of their punishment through prayers by the living. Wandering Souls Day is said lớn be the best time for these prayers. Large tables covered with food offerings are traditional, as well as money & clothes made of votive papers to be burnt.

Buddha"s birthday is celebrated on the 15th day of the 4th lunar month. Buddha is worshiped as the founder of Buddhism. Buddha"s birthday is celebrated with prayer, speeches, and meditation. Gifts are presented as offerings và incense is burnt.

The Mid-Autumn (Lantern) Festival is primarily for children. Special cakes are made and given lớn children as gifts. Colorful lanterns in a variety of shapes are made ahead of time & given khổng lồ the children. Children process through the streets with their colorful lanterns performing dances accompanied by cymbals và drums.


Located south of China, east of Laos và Cambodia, và with a long coastline over the South china Sea, we find Vietnam. This nation of Southeast Asia has a beautiful & rich culture, shaped by centuries of combining traditions & foreign influences. Among other things, the Vietnamese are known for their hospitality, respectful manners, và delicious food.