In this guide, we will show you everything you must know to get the most out of Easter in Vietnam. To be more particular, we will introduce you to the best things worth doing in Vietnam and the best places to visit on this meaningful occasion with your friends and families.
1. Overview of Easter: Date, History and Meaning
Easter is observed on different dates each year. In Western Christianity, it falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the vernal (spring) equinox, typically occurring between March 22 and April 25. The date is determined by the lunar and solar calendars, which is why it varies from year to year.
Easter has a rich historical background. The week leading up to Easter Sunday is known as Holy Week, which encompasses the events from Jesus' arrival in Jerusalem to His crucifixion.
Holy Week, as we know it today, was established in the 4th century, with the addition of significant days such as Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Wednesday, representing Judas' betrayal. Over time, the other days of the week were also incorporated into the observance.
Meaning of the Festival
Easter Sunday holds great meaning for Christians worldwide. According to the Bible, Christ was crucified on Good Friday and buried after His last supper on Maundy Thursday. On the third day, Easter Sunday, His disciples found the tomb empty, signifying His resurrection. This event symbolizes the triumph of Christ over death, solidifying His identity as the 'Son of God' and bringing hope and redemption to believers.
How Easter is Celebrated Around the World
Easter is celebrated in diverse ways across cultures. Common practices include attending church services on Easter Sunday, baking hot cross buns, and decorating Easter eggs. Hot cross buns remind Christians of Christ's crucifixion, while the eggs symbolize His resurrection. Easter egg hunts, where children search for hidden eggs, are popular activities.
The Easter Bunny, a beloved figure, often plays a role in these festivities. Additionally, children may receive Easter baskets filled with candy, snacks, and presents. While the core message remains the same, different countries and regions add their own unique traditions and customs to celebrate Easter.
2. Do Vietnamese celebrate Easter?
If you wonder, “Do they celebrate Easter in Vietnam?” then the answer is yes. However, given that Christians only claim about 10% of Vietnam's population, Easter in Vietnam is not a popular festival.
Still, every year, many churches in Vietnam hold special masses on the third Sunday of April to celebrate Easter, with the participation of numerous foreigners and Catholics.
In many locations, Easter in Vietnam is celebrated with various exciting activities that hold special significance, symbols, and games for the whole family on this special holiday.
In Ho Chi Minh City, the program "Follow the Easter Bunny, Explore the Bunny House" runs until April 23, 2023, at Crescent Mall, featuring activities such as exploring the sweet Easter land with adorable white bunnies and a unique Easter House. Especially children can participate in the Easter Egg Hunt game and receive lovely gifts.
At Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi, Easter Sunday on April 9 is celebrated with an Easter Egg Hunt contest for children, offering attractive prizes.
In Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Melia Ho Tram offers you, your family, and your friends a memorable Easter day with various enjoyable activities like decorating Easter eggs, screening children's movies, balloon art, and other exciting activities for kids. During the three days from April 7-9, there are also fun activities such as bunny hopping, face painting, decorating Easter eggs, and searching for Easter eggs in the beach garden and children's play area.
>>> If you want to enrich your knowledge about Vietnamese culture, make sure you visit the beautiful country on public holidays in Vietnam
3. Best things to do at Easter in Vietnam
3.1. Visit Christian churches in Vietnam
If you want to feel at home when celebrating Easter in Vietnam, make sure that you visit churches in Vietnam. Though there are thousands of churches scattered around the country, chief among them all are the iconic St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Notre Dame Cathedral, and Tan Dinh Church.
Despite the relatively small number of Christians in Vietnam, numerous churches can be found across the country, many of which were constructed during the era of French colonial rule. These old churches are readily found in various cities such as Hanoi, Ninh Binh, and Nam Dinh. While some of them serve as tourist attractions, others continue to function as places of worship where Christians gather every Sunday.
3.2. Travel during Easter in Vietnam
Since Vietnam is gifted with miscellaneous stunning landscapes and breathtaking nature, to enjoy your Vietnam Easter holiday to the fullest, here is a list of the best places to visit for your Vietnamese Easter:
- Mai Chau: Nestled in the picturesque Hoa Binh Province, Mai Chau is renowned for its stunning landscapes and vibrant ethnic cultures. Visitors can immerse themselves in the traditional stilt houses, hike through terraced rice fields, and engage with the friendly local communities.
- Ha Long Bay: A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ha Long Bay mesmerizes travelers with its emerald waters and limestone karsts. Cruising through the bay, visitors can marvel at the breathtaking scenery, visit hidden caves, and partake in various water activities. Easter in Ha Long Bay is an unforgettable experience.
- Hoi An: Known for its charming Old Town, Hoi An is a cultural gem filled with lantern-lit streets, ancient temples, and well-preserved architecture. During Easter, the town comes alive with colorful decorations and festive celebrations, creating a magical atmosphere for visitors.
- Da Nang: With its golden beaches and modern attractions, Da Nang offers a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure. Visitors can enjoy the vibrant nightlife, explore the iconic Marble Mountains, or visit the majestic Dragon Bridge, which becomes even more enchanting during Easter.
- Nha Trang: Situated along Vietnam's stunning coastline, Nha Trang is a coastal paradise renowned for its pristine beaches and vibrant underwater world. Travelers can indulge in water sports, visit the scenic Vinpearl Land, or simply unwind at luxurious resorts during the Easter holiday.
- Phu Quoc: This tropical island in the Gulf of Thailand is known for its white, sandy beaches and turquoise waters. Easter in Phu Quoc offers a tranquil escape, where visitors can relax on idyllic beaches, explore the national park, and savor delicious seafood.
All in all, celebrating Easter in Vietnam is a remarkable experience that combines the joyous festivities of the season with the country's rich cultural and natural attractions. Whether it's visiting Vietnamese sacred churches, immersing yourself in local traditions, or simply enjoying the beauty of the surroundings, Easter in Vietnam promises unforgettable moments of joy and discovery for visitors from all walks of life.