5 Things You Should Know About Vietnamese Culture

Vietnam attracts tourists not only by scenic spots but also by beautiful culture. There are 5 things you should know about Vietnamese culture and Vietnamese people to understand its beauty. The culture of Vietnam has acquired the quintessence of other cultures while keeping its own features.

Vietnamese culture is diverse

Vietnam has 54 ethnic groups. The most populated group is Kinh people. They mainly inhabit the Red River delta with the famous Red River civilization. Other ethnics groups are scattered over mountain areas. Each group has its own beliefs, cuisine and special. The culture of Cham people is one of the earliest cultures in Vietnamese history. Despite the difference in culture, the ethnics group has established and developed strong solidarity.

Some ethnic groups in Vietnam
Some ethnic groups in Vietnam

The diversity in regions also creates diversity in the culture of Vietnam. Vietnam is an S-shape peninsula. There are three regions: the North, the Central and the South. Northern Vietnam, as known as Bac Bo in Vietnamese is the cradle of Vietnamese civilization. In the North Red River Delta has a great effect on the culture. The Central is mostly mountains and coastlines. The culture in the Central is affected by Truong Son mountain range and coastlines. The South has Mekong Delta. It is the most agriculturally productive region of Vietnam.

See Next: Top Destinations and Things to do in Northern Vietnam

Beliefs and religions in Vietnamese culture

The thought of Vietnamese people has been influenced mostly by Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism which are known as the Tam Giao (triple religion) in Vietnamese culture. Vietnamese people are free of religions. Therefore, when you discover Vietnamese culture, you will find many religious buildings from Christian, Buddhism, Hinduism, etc. Many of them are attractive tourist destinations such as Mariamman Hindu Temple, Notre Dame Cathedral in Ho Chi Minh City, One Pillar Pagoda, Temple of Literature in Hanoi.

Notre Dame Cathedral in Ho Chi Minh City

Ancestor worship is the beauty in Vietnamese culture value. All Vietnamese people don’t forget their origins. Most of them have an ancestor altar at their home or business. On a special day like Tet holiday, the first day or fifth day of the month (according to Lunar Calendar), Vietnamese people often burn incense and have some things like fruits as offerings. Ancestor worship has existed in Vietnam for a long time. Up to now, Vietnamese people have maintained the worship to show respect to the deceased.

Vietnam’s Most Beautiful Temples

Cuisine in Vietnamese culture

Like regions, there are three categories in Vietnamese cuisine: north, central and south. The cuisine is extremely diverse across regions. The main food in Vietnamese meals is rice. You can find rice field in almost everywhere in Vietnam. Fish sauce is also an integral part. Vietnamese people use very little oil and many vegetables in cooking. In Vietnamese culture, dishes characterize many flavors such as sweet, sour, spicy and special flavors from types of sauces.

Rice is an integral part in Vietnamese cuisine

Noodle and noodle soups are common in Vietnamese cuisine. In every Vietnam tour, tour guides often introduce noodles to tourists, especially pho Pho is the noodles you have to eat when coming to Vietnam. It consists of rice noodles, beef, beef soup and is eaten with fresh vegetable and sour lemons. There are many types of noodles: pho, bun, hu tieu, my, … Seafood and specialties of mountain areas are favorite dishes of many tourists. Each dish has color, flavor and processing method. The cuisine is colorful pictures that everyone loves while discovering Vietnamese culture.

Vietnam Culinary Tours 2019


Traditional costumes in Vietnamese culture

Prior to Nguyen Dynasty, except for noble family, Vietnamese people were not free to dress. There were some restrictions on clothing. Before the 19th century, the common clothing was Ao giao linh, a cross-collared robe. Until Nguyen Dynasty, it was replaced by the ao dai. Up to present, ao dai has been considered the national dress of the Vietnamese. The design of ao dai has changed through times. Before ao dai was worn by males and females. Nowadays, it is worn mostly by women. Ao dai is uniqueness in the beauty of Vietnamese culture.

Vietnamese women in ao dai

Besides ao dai, other traditional costumes are four-piece dresses (ao tu than in Vietnamese), non la, ao yem, etc. The four-piece dress has existed for a long time. It is a traditional dress while performing quan ho, a type of folk music that originated in Bac Ninh, Vietnam. Ao yem is the one accompanied with the four-piece dress. Non la, known as the conical hat is the traditional hat in Vietnam. A woman usually wears ao dai with non la. In the south, the highlight dress is ao ba ba. The outfit includes a loose-fitting and black pants.


See Next: Vietnamese’s Traditional Dress

Traditional festivals in Vietnamese culture

Festival is one of the special features in Vietnamese culture. Ethnic religious diversity makes more festivals in Vietnam. Festivals are held to remember cultural events. Community spirit is the essence of every festival. There are 2 sections in festivals: ceremony and society. The ceremony is to express respect to the divinity and dreams of people for health, wealth, luckiness and happiness for themselves and their loved ones. Society is the unique characteristics of culture, community, religion, etc.


Two biggest traditional festivals are Tet holidays and Hung King Commemoration Day. Tet holiday is known as Lunar New Year. In Tet Holiday, every region has other festivals to celebrate such as Hoi Lim in Bac Ninh Province, Hoi Giong in Soc Son, Huong Pagoda’s festival in Hanoi. Hung King Commemoration Day is held annually from the 8th to the 11th days of the third lunar month. It is held to pay tribute to Hung Kings, founders of the nation and first emperors in Vietnam.


Read more in Vietnam Festivals Bucket List

Culture is an important part of every country. The culture of Vietnam has developed over a long time. It is one of the oldest in Southeast Asia. In spite of the changes over years and the effect of foreign cultures, the Vietnamese still maintain the cultural features such as the ancestor worship, respect for family value, traditional festivals, traditional costumes, etc. The beauty of culture has attracted many tourists to Vietnam and made them love Vietnam more and more.

Discovering the culture of Vietnam will surely be a wonderful and unforgettable adventure. You will be touched by the hospitality and satisfied with best dishes and colorful festivals. Enjoying the breathtaking attractions and learning about Vietnamese culture will complete your perfect travel.


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