Hanoi festivals present the time for people to engage in several activities of entertainment and pleasure. Some celebrations are held to welcome the New Year or the new harvesting season according to the lunar calendar and some are more like events highlighting the richness of the culture and traditions of the Hanoi community and remembering its past when people faced many hardships. Most of the time these festivals are followed by captivating narratives of the ancient legends and folklore associated with the origin of these festivals.
There are various events held all across the land throughout the year. Some of the most colourful ones are Chem Temple Festival, The Tet Festival, Giong Festival, Whale Festival, Lim Festival, Tra CO Village Festival and Keo Pagoda Festival. Most of these festivals begin in the evening with lights and festoons and continue on for several days.
Chem Temple festival is celebrated every year as a tribute to the hero Ly Than for saving the country at battles during Hung King Dynasty. Each year a vibrant ceremony is organized with processions of boats, elephants, horses and chariots and it concludes in an impressive ritual at the communal house. The Tet Festival which is celebrated at the beginning of the lunar year is one of the major festivals enjoyed by both locals as well as foreigners. It is simply the New Year celebrations in Vitenam. It is a prolonged event and can be described as more of a ‘friends and family’ festival. Giong Festival is a national event celebrated in Hanoi as it represents the patriotism of the Vietnamese, their respect for independence and gratefulness for their heroes.
The Whale Festival is regarded as the most outstanding water festival among the fisherman of the Vietnam. It is an event which goes on for two days and it is held as a commemorative festival to the Whale God. A significant feature of this popular water festival is beautifying the whale temple and all the village houses and boats of the fishermen.