Question — what are the customs and traditions of Vietnam?

Vietnamese customs and traditions include respecting elders, honoring ancestors through rituals and offerings, celebrating major festivals like Tet (Lunar New Year), and placing a strong emphasis on family values. Additionally, traditional clothing such as the ao dai and traditional cuisine like pho are integral parts of Vietnamese culture.

Vietnamese customs and traditions are rich and diverse, deeply rooted in the country’s history and influenced by Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism. These customs not only shape the daily lives of the Vietnamese people but also play a significant role in fostering social cohesion and preserving cultural identity.

  1. Respecting elders: One of the most prominent customs in Vietnamese culture is the profound respect for elders. Filial piety is highly valued, and younger generations are expected to show respect and obedience to their parents, grandparents, and ancestors. Elders are considered the foundation of the family and community, and their wisdom and guidance are cherished.

“The character of a nation resides in the hearts of its people.” – Ho Chi Minh

  1. Ancestor worship: Vietnamese people have a strong belief in ancestry and practice regular ancestor worship rituals. They memorialize their deceased ancestors by making offerings at home altars or visiting ancestral gravesites. This practice symbolizes gratitude, remembrance, and the belief in the continuation of family ties beyond death.

  2. Tet (Lunar New Year): Tet is the most important and widely celebrated festival in Vietnam. It marks the beginning of the lunar calendar year and is a time for family reunions, feasting, and paying homage to ancestors. Many customs and traditions are associated with Tet, including cleaning the house, preparing special foods, giving lucky money to children, and visiting temples.

  3. Strong family values: Family holds a central position in Vietnamese society, and the concept of “family” extends beyond immediate relatives to include extended family members and even close neighbors. The Vietnamese prioritize family unity, cooperative living arrangements, and mutual care and support. The communal spirit of Vietnamese communities is deeply rooted in the strong emphasis on family values.

  4. Traditional clothing: The iconic traditional garment of Vietnam is the “ao dai,” a long dress worn by both men and women. It is characterized by its exquisite design, elegance, and vibrant colors. The ao dai symbolizes grace, beauty, and national identity. Despite modern influences, the ao dai continues to be worn for special occasions, cultural performances, and academic ceremonies.

  5. Traditional cuisine: Vietnamese cuisine is renowned for its flavors, freshness, and balance. A popular dish that has gained international recognition is “pho,” a delicious noodle soup with fragrant broth and various toppings. Vietnamese cuisine reflects the country’s regional diversity, with unique specialties from the north, central, and southern regions.

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Interesting facts:

  • Dragon dance: During Tet, dragon and lion dances are performed to ward off evil spirits and bring good luck for the new year. These colorful and lively dances are accompanied by traditional music and involve a team of performers manipulating the dragon or lion puppet.

  • Water puppetry: Water puppetry is a traditional art form unique to Vietnam. Shows are performed in a pool of water, with puppeteers concealed behind a bamboo screen. Elaborate puppets are controlled by rods and strings, telling stories from Vietnamese folklore and history.

  • Vietnamese weddings: Traditional Vietnamese weddings often comprise several significant ceremonies, including the procession of groom’s gifts, the engagement ceremony, and the wedding ceremony itself. These celebrations highlight the importance of family and the union of two families through marriage.


Custom/Tradition Description
Respecting elders Deep reverence and obedience to older generations.
Ancestor worship Rituals and offerings to remember and honor deceased ancestors.
Tet (Lunar New Year) Major festival with family reunions, feasting, and ancestral homage.
Strong family values Emphasizing unity, cooperation, and mutual care within the family.
Traditional clothing Ao dai, a long dress representing elegance and national identity.
Traditional cuisine Renowned for fresh ingredients, flavors, and regional specialties.

In conclusion, Vietnamese customs and traditions play a vital role in shaping the country’s social fabric and cultural heritage. From the deep respect for elders to the vibrant celebrations of Tet, these customs reflect the values of filial piety, unity, and ancestral reverence that are cherished by the Vietnamese people. As Ho Chi Minh once said, these customs are a reflection of the character and heart of a nation.

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Video answer to “What are the customs and traditions of Vietnam?”

In this Q&A video about Vietnamese culture, the YouTuber shares insights while walking home from a workout. They discuss various aspects such as tipping, gift-giving, drinking culture, dining customs, dialects, and the importance of ancestor worship. The video emphasizes that while tipping is not expected, it is still appreciated in Vietnam. Furthermore, it clarifies that Vietnamese people do accept gifts and discusses the significance of gift-giving in Vietnamese culture. The YouTuber also highlights the importance of social harmony and building relationships through social drinking. Additionally, they explain the practice of eating on the ground during gatherings and the presence of altars in Vietnamese households and establishments. Finally, the video mentions the custom of worshiping ancestors and the influence of Chinese culture on Vietnamese traditions.

Additional responses to your query

The Vietnamese people value humility, restraint, and modesty. Avoid being boastful or showing off wealth. Public displays of affection are generally frowned upon so try to avoid touching people of the opposite sex. Dress conservatively and keep your body covered.

Traditions & Customs in Vietnam

  • 1. Ancestor Worship Vietnamese ancestors are believed to continue to live in another realm, and that it is the duty of the living beings to meet their needs.
  • 2. Burning votive paper
  • When invited into someone’s home, bring fruits, candy, or flowers, but avoid giving four of anything, as that number is unlucky.
  • The Vietnamese use chopsticks.
  • Never rest your chopsticks point-down in a bowl; lay them across the top or on the table.

Surely you will be interested

What are the main traditions of Vietnam?

Ancestor Worship
A small altar is placed in almost every house in Vietnam; it is used to commune with the departed loved ones. The rites consist of making offerings of fruits, food, wine, votive paper, lighting candles and burning incense before praying in front of the altar.

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What is the most important tradition in Vietnam?

Lunar New Year, or Tet, is considered the most important festival and holiday in Vietnam.

What are some Vietnamese rituals?

The response is: Ancestor worship is widely practiced, with elaborate rites and ceremonies to honor family members. Solemn holidays, such as the Hungry Ghost Festival, are times when families pray to their ancestors, offer them traditional foods and wine, and burn paper offerings for their ghosts to use in the spirit world.

What is the culture and belief of Vietnam?

The response is: The traditional beliefs of Vietnam are not institutionalised or systemised. They are usually structured around the worship of ‘thần’ (spirits, gods or deities). These thần can be represented in nature or objects. They may also often be guardians or protectors of specific places, people, lineages and occupations.

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