Cultural Trends Of Vietnam You Should Be Aware Off
Post by Tuba Qureshi | Aug 14, 2019
Popular not just for scenic spots and attractions, Vietnam is a wonderful country with a beautiful culture. If you are inspired by Vietnamese hospitality, then you should take a vacation to Vietnam this holiday season and discover its various cultural trends. While you thinking about what makes this Southeast Asian country nestled on the South China Sea a great travel destination to explore, I have summoned a few primary cultural trends of Vietnam that every traveler, tourist or explorer should be aware of.
Known for its stunning beaches, bustling cities, scenic attractions, well-landscaped gardens, fun parks, and Buddhist pagodas, Vietnam has to offer to its visitors. Officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, it is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula sharing land borders with Cambodia and Laos on the west and China in the north. The country shares maritime borders with the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia through the South China Sea and Thailand through the Gulf of Thailand.
Over the centuries, Vietnam culture has developed from the indigenous ancient economic base culture of Đông Sơn with rice cultivation to the multi-cultural sphere of the present time. The country was colonized for thousands of years by China and this is why Vietnamese norms and values are inspired by the Chinese culture and preaching such as Confucianism teachings.
For better understanding, I have concluded some popular cultural trends of the country below which you must take a look at while planning a trip to Vietnam. Before, you read on the points below, make sure you book your holiday package with reliable travel websites such as Klook, Trip.com, and Hotels.com. While Klook and Trip.com aim to simplify all your travel queries, Hotels.com on the other hand, vision to make your hotel booking experience affordable and easy.
Moreover, these websites also offer exclusive discount codes and vouchers like Hotels.com promo code or promo for Klook to help you enjoy huge savings. Now, that you know how to book an affordable holiday package at the best price, take note of the following cultural trends of Vietnam in 2019.
1 # Vietnamese Beliefs!
In Vietnam, there are 11 recognized religions namely – Buddhism, the Bahai Faith, Protestantism, Catholicism, Islam, Hoa Hao, the Pure Land Buddhist Home Practice, the Threefold Enlightened Truth Path, Cao Dai, the Four Debts of Gratitude and the Three Southern tradition. Among all of them, Buddhism is the mainstream for more than half of the population and those who do not practice the religion strictly, do believe in the Lord Buddha’s teachings.
Take a look at the following statics of various religions in Vietnam-
- Over 50% are Mayahana Buddhism followers
- 1.2% are Theravada Buddhism followers
- 7% are practicing Catholicism
- Around 1.5 to 3 % are practicing Hoa Hao
- Around 2.5 to 4% of the population follow Cao Dai
- 1.2% follows Protestant, and
- 0.1% population accounts to be practicing other religions
While you planning a vacation to Vietnam, and always make sure to choose a travel package including an excursion to its popular pagodas and temples to know more about the religious culture of the country. Use Ma Giam Giam Klook at the time of checkout whenever you choose to book a holiday with Klook. By doing so you will only grab the best travel deals, but you will also make huge savings.
Now, to prelude to the religious beliefs and culture of Vietnam, take a look at the following most fascinating pagodas and temples in the country –
# Bai Dinh Pagoda
It is a cultural and spiritual complex in the Ninh Binh Province on Bai Dinh Mountain, which consists of several new as well as old Buddhist temples. Bai Dinh Pagoda is considered to be the largest Buddhist temple complex in the country. Being the most popular site to visit for Buddhist pilgrims, the complex covers about 17000 acres of the area consisting of a temple devoted to Lord Buddha and Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara temple, Phap Chu Temple dedicated to Shakyamuni Budhha. You will also find a bell tower, a huge well and the largest bronze statue of Buddha in Bai Dinh Pagoda. The place offers breathtaking views of the majestic mountains in the surroundings.
# Cao Dai Temple
A significant landmark of Cao Dai, Cao Dai Temple is located just outside Tay Nihn town. Also known as the Holy See or Great Temple, Cao Dai Temple was built during the 1930s in a different architectural style reflecting Baroque, Oriental and Neo-Gothic styles. The temple closely resembles a Christian Cathedral and has two square towers, side aisles, and a long central lane with an upper gallery. Both the exterior and interior of the temple is decorated with seven-headed cobras, images of saints, pillars with dragons and other abstract designs.
# Tran Quoc Pagoda
Built back in the 6th century Tran Quoc Pagoda is another must-explore and widely popular religious site in Vietnam located in Hanoi, on the banks of West Lake. It is the oldest temple built during the era of Emperor Ly Nam De. It is designed according to the strict rules of Buddhist architecture and its main pagoda stands at 15 m height with 11 levels. There is an incense burning house, a museum featuring historical relics and a Bodhi tree.
# Mariamman Hindu temple
If you wish to explore a Hindu temple in Vietnam, the Mariamman Hindu temple is one of the most popular ones in Ho Chi Minh City. The temple is called as Chua Ba Mariamman in Vietnamese and it was built in the late 19th century. The holistic temple devoted to the Hindu goddess Mariamman is located right in the center of the city and is within easy access to Ben Thanh market. Often counted among the most beautiful awe-striking temples of the country, you will find beautifully crafted statues of Ganesha, Amman, Muruga, Lakshmi and more in this temple.
# Linh Ung Pagoda
Located in Son Tra Peninsula in the Son Tra District, Linh Ung Pagoda is another must-explore and widely popular pagoda in Vietnam. Built in the year 2014 in July, the site spans over an area of 20 hectares and 693 meters above from the sea level. On a visit to this holistic site, tourists will easily contemplate the beauty of the sea and blue sky while enjoying surreal views of the ocean. The complex has many parts including a library, main hall, lecture hall and so on.
2 # Traditional Fashion in Vietnamese Culture!
Before Nguyen Dynasty, Vietnamese (except the noble families) weren’t allowed to dress freely; there are certain restrictions on clothing. Before the 19th century, Ao Giao Linh (a cross-collared robe) was the common attire to wear. During the Nguyen Dynasty, the dress was replaced by Ao Dai. Today, Ao Dai is considered as a National dress for Vietnamese. And with times, the design of this traditional attire has changed, earlier it was worn by both men and women, but today, it is mostly worn by women. It is said that Ao Dai is known for its uniqueness in beauty in Vietnamese culture.
Besides the Ao Dai, Ao Yem and Non-La are other traditional Vietnamese outfit ensembles resembling cultural fashion of the country. While you are in Vietnam for your Holidays, you must try the following traditional Vietnamese attires –
# Ao Dai
A national dress which a five-paneled elegant gown usually worn by women today. Though, the dress was previously worn by both men and women. Over time, the designs of Ao Dai have changed and today, its modern version comprises of a tight-fitting silk tunic pulled over traditional trousers. The dress still resembles the unique beauty of Vietnamese culture.
# Ao Tu Than
It is a four-piece dress which is mostly worn by Vietnamese peasant women. Ao Tu than comprises of an outer tunic flowing down to ankles and is usually open from the front. The tunic splits into two parts from the waist featuring two flaps in the front and two in the back. Women usually wear long plain skirts underneath this traditional tunic. A silk sash around the waist plays the role of a belt.
# Ao Ba Ba
It is a traditional Vietnamese garment for women in the South which consist of long-sleeved shirts and trousers. The long-sleeve shirts are buttoned down without collar. The trousers are long and usually white or black. Ao Ba Ba is typically worn by both men and women and it is a symbol of industrious and warm-hearted rural people.
3 # Culinary Culture Of Vietnam!
With extremely diverse culinary culture across the regions, Vietnamese cuisine is divided into three categories – north, Central and south. Rice is the main food of all Vietnamese meals and you will find rice field almost everywhere in the country. Fish sauce is another integral food item in the platter over here. Vietnamese usually add many vegetables in their cooking and very little oil. According to its culinary culture, local dishes are often characterized by flavors like sour, sweet, spicy or special flavor from the types of sauces.
Noodle soups and noodles are very common over here and seafood is favorite delights of many tourists in Vietnam. Each dish here has a different processing method, flavor, and color. In other words, Vietnamese cuisine is a colorful picture that every traveler loves to discover. Take a look at the following must-try Vietnamese dishes-
- Pho – a slurp noodle dish with salty broth, herbs, fresh rice noodles, and beef or chicken
- Banh Xeo – a crispy crepe with shrimp, pork and bean sprouts: usually garnished with fresh herbs
- Cao Lau – A pork noodle dish, originally from Hoi An
- Goi Cuon – A healthy and light spring roll made with translucent parcels with a green salad, a slither or seafood or meat and coriander filling
- Banh Khot – A Vietnamese pancake with tasty ingredients or filling of mung beans, spring onions, and shrimp
- Bun Bo Nam Bo – A noodle dish served with broth, tender slices of beef with bean sprouts and crunchy peanuts
- Ga Nuong – Vietnam styled large flaming barbecued chicken wings, legs and feet prepared with honey marinate
- Bot Chien – A street-side snack made with rice flour chunks deep-fried until crispy and cooked with egg; it usually served with shallots, papaya slices, and green onions
- Banh Mi – A dish rich in carbohydrate, protein, and fat including bread, pata, and margarine; it is a colorful combination of cold cuts, cheese, pickled vegetables, fried egg, sausage, chili sauce, and fresh cilantro
- Banh Bao – steamed pork buns with tasty fillings
4 # Traditional Festivals In Vietnam!
Inspired by the Chinese Lunar calendar, most Vietnamese festivals and cultural events are celebrated during a specific time of the year. These festivals not just let you witness and admire the culture of Vietnam but also provide a soul-touching experience to you. The artistic manifestations and rich history of the country are best reflected through its festivals and cultural events. And, while you are holidaying in Vietnam, you must witness the following cultural events and festivals that are widely popular-
# Tet Nguyen Dan
Also called Vietnam Lunar New Year, it is the most important festival in the country when locals thank God for the arrival of spring and pay respect to their ancestors. You must not miss Hanoi Opera House’s firework display during this festival.
# Buddha’s Birthday
Celebrated by devotees of the country, many temples are adorned with wonderful decorations and local people bring offerings in the form of Vietnamese dishes, fruits, and flower garlands. People partake in various prayer sessions and street parades to celebrate this special occasion.
# Mid-Autumn Festival
Usually celebrated on the 14th and 15th day of Lunar month, Mid-Autumn festival is the most colorful festival in Vietnams wherein adults and kids come together, dress-up nicely and enjoy the festival with special food and entertainment.
# Hoi An Lantern Festival
During this festival, you will witness a spectacular display as all the quaint UNESCO World Heritage Site are transformed into awe-inspiring sites decorated with lanterns of all sizes, shapes, and colors. Not just the attractions, even the restaurants, shops, bars, and business centers are lit by hundreds of lanterns.
# Perfume Pagoda Festival
Another extremely important festival in Vietnam in which Perfume Pagoda welcomes thousands of pilgrims to pray for happiness and prosperity for the year ahead. On their way to Perfume Pagoda, devotees will enjoy the picturesque landscape of Limestone Mountains and the surrounding scenery via rice paddles, a boat and a walk past historic shrines.
So, these are some of the most important cultural trends of Vietnam that every traveler must experiences while vacationing in the country. Hopefully, by exploring these trends you will learn more about the history and tradition of the country.
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