February is one of the most unpredictable months. Similar to how Europeans and North Americans crave for a white Christmas, many Northern Vietnamese would wish for a light rain on the first day of the Lunar year which can set the atmosphere and bring about luck. Those living in Ho Chi Minh City would see much sun and warm weather for most of the days in February. In Central Vietnam, the dry season started with pleasantly warm temperature. The North, on the other hand, may remain anywhere from cool to cold for another while. If you love the beach, head south!
What to expect if you travel to Vietnam in February
February is the month of celebration and relaxation for Vietnamese, especially from the Tet holiday on. Most Lunar New Year falls between late January and mid-February, making the month mostly a time for celebration. Do not miss an opportunity if you are invited to join one of the family’s meals during this holiday.
Vietnamese are strong believers- they try to pay off all debts before the New Year day and on the first day of the year, all they do is to feel happy and make other feel happy so that the same sentiment can last for the rest of the year.
In 2011, the Lunar New Year is on February 3rd and 2013, February 10. Mark the date on your calendar if you plan to travel to Vietnam in February. As well, book your ticket well in advance for airplane or train, since it is a time when everyone wants to get back to their family. Transport is usually fully booked a 2 weeks to 1 month of the travel date.
2 weeks exactly after the New Year is Tet Nguyen Tieu- an important event to celebrate the first full moon of the year. In Hoi An, every full moon night will be lit up by floating lanterns on Thu Bon River or those hung by the stores in the Ancient town. At the centre squares, there will be live music and revived traditional games. In places like Hanoi, Hue and Ho Chi Minh City, you can also get a sense of Tet Nguyen Tieu as most families will burn incense and clothes-shaped paper for their ancestors.
In addition to these cultural events, the 3rd of February is the anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party. Though celebrated nation-wide, it is most vividly witnessed in Hanoi and on TV. There are parades and music shows that praise the success and important of the Party in the liberation and governance of modern Vietnam. All houses that face the street are required to hang national flags. Overall, a great opportunity for taking photos!
* February 3: Founding of Vietnam Communist Party
* February 7 (2011): Tet Nguyen Tieu
* February 10 (2013): Vietnam Tet Holiday
Read more: Best time to visit Vietnam