Vietnamese Traditional Dances. Ethnic Folk Dances in Vietnam (2023)

dances in Vietnam that capture the magic of the country

Typical Dances in Vietnam varies as you visit different parts, You can hear many styles of music but there are just a few certain types of traditional Vietnamese dances, in which Vietnamese traditional dance plays an important role in the culture of the country. Until these days, counting on customs that are still maintained, and where culture is important not only in history, but also in music and dance. That is why below we will analyze Vietnamese Traditional dances, highlighting the diversity and richness that it possesses, having a great section regarding the Theater, being very present the Music of Ceremonies and being part of different rituals and popular festivals of the Vietnam.

Traditional dances in Vietnam

The Vietnamese dances varied over time according to the customs of each Royal House in their respective mandates, generally being performed as an offering to the kingdom and in order to wish good fortune to the nation and the royal court, this base being respected even in present days. The influence of the West is present in the musical form known as Nhac, which brings the combination of tradition and culture of traditional music with a fusion of Western customs, even being interpreted by female voices. In dance we find movements that point more than anything to the dynamics and the great variation of styles and movements, preserving the classic ballet of the ancient dances of Hmong and Cham, while on holidays we find the appearance of the popular Lion dance , celebrated day or night depending on whether it is seen in the southern or northern region of the country.

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Vietnamese Traditional Dances. Ethnic Folk Dances in Vietnam (1)

Musical Forms of Vietnamese Dances

In Vietnamese Music and traditional dances, we find a high presence of string musical instruments, accompanied by different percussions and Drums that have well-defined structures according to the region where the dance is performing (dividing into North, Central and South Vietnam) It is logically influenced by the divergence of cultures in Vietnam, inspired by folkloric folk songs and logically by the geographical environment where this country is located, on the Indochina Peninsula, so we must think of a well-defined oriental style. Of course, there is also a presence in the western world, being frequent to find Jazz Clubs that merge the style of this musical genre with that of Vietnamese Traditional Music.

Xuan Pha Folk dances of ANCIENT VIETNAM

The Xuan Pha dances are folk performances that represent the arrival of five diplomatic missions to celebrate a great military victory for the Emperor of ancient Vietnam. According to the researchers, Xuan Pha is considered a dance that contains a lot of mystical information from the Vietnamese in the past, including numerous aspects related to the history of the nation, and plays an important role in the treasure of national music.

Vietnamese Traditional Dances. Ethnic Folk Dances in Vietnam (2)

Currently, there are many criteria regarding the origin of Xuan Pha dance in Vietnam. According to the artist Bui Van Hung (Xuan Truong Commune, Tho Xuan District, Thanh Hoa), who has had great strength in preserving and conserving the Xuan Pha legacy, this show appeared in the Dinh dynasty (968 – 980). Local legend has it that Dinh Bo Linh was on his way to fight the last of the twelve warlords, named Ngo Xuong Xi, in Binh Kieu, Chau Ai (now Thanh Hoa province). They placed him in Quan Thanh and sent an envoy to ask for the support of the gods to defeat the enemy and unify the country. During his mission, the envoy was caught in a storm on the Chu River and had to take refuge in the Xuan Pha Temple.

(Video) [VCD2015] Vietnamese Traditional Dance

The Vietnamese lotus dance

To highlight the beauty of the lotus flower, worthy of being considered the national flower of Vietnam, the artists of the Bong Sen Theater in Ho Chi Minh City have organized and presented to the public a unique dance program called “Lotus Dance”.With its beauty and fragrance, the lotus flower is the icon of the beauty and purity of Vietnamese women and the spiritual and cultural beauty of this nation. For this reason, the artistic program is made up of a series of stories about this flower through dances and a traditional and modern artistic language.

Vietnamese Traditional Dances. Ethnic Folk Dances in Vietnam (3)

Dragon dances in Vietnam

Vietnamese have always considered the dragon as s sacred creature, with extraordinary strength and a symbol of good fortune. In some Eastern countries, the dragon still symbolizes power and national origin. In Vietnam, dragon dances story back to the legend of the “Dragon Father and Fairy Mother”. Dragon dance has long been a peculiar culture of Asian countries, including Vietnam. Today, the dragon dance in Vietnam is a unique artistic manifestation of many people.

Recently, in the My Dinh National Stadium square, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Hanoi organized the “Festival of Dragon Dance Hanoi”, with the participation of 28 groups and 50 dragons from places in the city. At the festival, the participating teams provided numerous impressive and beautiful performances. Many dances showed difficult techniques with the combination of four sacred animals: Long – Ly – Quy – Phuong (dragon-unicorn-turtle-phoenix), expressing the fervor and talent of the artists and the public to preserve traditional culture. In addition to the ingenious techniques of dragon dances and familiar themes, the artists also put a lot of effort into studying, collecting and composing special dances, particularly those related to historical accounts and of deep spiritual significance, such as “An Duong Vuong builds the Citadel of Co Loa ”,“ Two dragons playing with pearl ”,“ Movement towards the dragon ”and“ Phu Dong with ascending dragon ”.

Vietnamese Traditional Dances. Ethnic Folk Dances in Vietnam (4)

(Video) Folk dance of Vietnam

Vietnamese Leon Dance

The lion dance is known in Vietnam as the unicorn dance (Vietnamese: múa lân) based on the mythical creature kỳ lân, which is similar to the Chinese Qilin. Most of the lions in Vietnam resemble the Lion of the South, they are part of the Chinese tradition of the Lion of the South, but they have acquired local characteristics. However, there are also different local forms that differ significantly in appearance and performance, for example, the lions dances of the Tay and Nung minorities. A court version of the dance is performed at the Duyet Thi Duong Theater on the ground from the royal palace in Huế.

The dance is mainly performed at traditional festivals such as the Vietnamese Lunar New Year (Tết) and the Mid-Autumn Festival (Tết trung thu), as well as other occasions, such as the opening of a new business, birthdays and weddings. The dance is usually accompanied by martial artists and stunts. A feature of the Vietnamese unicorn dance is its dance partner Ông Địa or the spirit of the earth, depicted as a large, broad-bellied and widely smiling man holding a fan of palm leaves similar to the “Great Chinese Buddha” (大头佛). The kind-hearted spirit, according to popular belief, has the power to summon the auspicious unicorn, and therefore, during the dance, takes the initiative to clear the way for the unicorn. Ông Địa’s comical appearance adds to the festive and joyous nature of the dance.44 The Vietnamese lion’s head is made differently because of its missing horn. This is because teams used to fight each other and resulted in the horn being constantly activated. To solve this problem, many Vietnamese teams have not asked for horns to make it harder for the opponent to harm the lion.

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Vietnamese Bài Bông dance

Múa bài bông, is an an ancient Vietnamese dance dating back to the Tran Dynasty. Tran Quang Khai created this dance to perform on the peaceful feast day of King Tran Nhan Tong. However, the other opinion is that the song Bai dance was created by Chieu Vuong Tran Nhat Duat. During the second resistance war against the Yuan-Mongol invaders, Tran forces captured Ly Nguyen Cat among Toa Do’s troops and she stayed to teach classical opera. The Prince’s mother gave birth to a mother who was fighting to learn. Cotton dance is influenced by classical music, meaning longevity with movements that show the scenes: giving peach and offering wine. The reunion dance of the Vietnamese spirit is associated with the Buddhist culture, merging with the development of Truc Lam Zen.

Vietnamese Traditional Dances. Ethnic Folk Dances in Vietnam (6)

(Video) Art of Xòe dance of the Tai people in Viet Nam

Múa xòe dance: Thai minorities of Northern Vietnam

Múa xòe Tây Bắc is another folk dance and a a unique cultural activity and infant a popular dance among the Northwestern Thai ethnic minority of northern Vietnam. The spread dance also known as “Praises” (hand-held dance). Dance shows the friendly, close and collective solidarity, so all Thais know how to dance and love the spread art of the nation. Múa xòe Tây Bắc Dance is a valuable cultural heritage of Thai people with sustainable vitality among the people. Dance is a symbol of the love of the Thai minorities, from the love of hard working life, to the love of couples, Thai people often organize dancing in spring, season and wedding festivals. The Thai people have 6 ancient radiant beats, which is the origin of Thai folk dance. The most basic trick is “Catching a new hotpot towel” – meaning “raising a towel to invite wine”. This is the spread to express the culture in the communication behavior of Thai ethnic people.

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Múa Nhảy sạp: Famous Bamboo dance of Vietnam

Bamboo dancing is called Nhảy sạp or múa sạp, is a dance related to the culture of people of all ethnic groups in South-East of Asia, such as Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Philippines, Borneo Island in Malaysia. Ethnic groups in Vietnam often organize dance on festivals, festivals, such as the season, the Lunar New Year or on the moonlit nights (Kho Mu people in Dien Bien).

In fact, Bamboo dancing is performed by many Northwestern tribes in Vietnam, especially during festivals. This shows that, regardless of originating from any ethnic group, its spread is very large, showing strong attraction, and at the same time, high community, easy to popularize. This dance is also performed by the Kinh people, which also attracts many participants. From the dancing sessions to celebrate the victory of Dien Bien (May 1954) between the army and the people, the stall dance has been artized, appearing in many stages, performances, following the Vietnamese art troupes. abroad.

Vietnamese Traditional Dances. Ethnic Folk Dances in Vietnam (8)


vietnamese ballroom dancing

Ballroom dance is become very popular in Vietnam, as we know, this dance is originated in Latin America, but by now Ballroom has become popular all over the world. When referring to Ballroom, we often refer to chachacha, tango or slow foxtrot. When dancing ballroom, the trainee will be fully developed physical characteristics such as: speed, strength, strength, endurance and flexibility. The training process will also give you the body to have a balanced beauty, fashion and very charming.

Besides Ballroom dances in Vietnam, street performances are also a new trend, you should not ignore Latin dance. These Latin dances are originated from Latin American countries like Cuba, Colombia, Brazil, … It is known as hot dances with body movements based on latin music such as Samba, Reggaeton, sala, cha cha, … These dances always give people the feeling of excitement and always want to dance to each tune.


What is the traditional dance in Vietnam? ›

Gong dance - one of the Vietnamese traditional dances recognized by UNESCO.

Is one of the most popular traditional dances throughout Vietnam? ›

Xòe is a form of Vietnamese dancing that is performed at rituals, weddings, village festivals and community events. There are several types of xòe dances, but the most popular form is circle xòe, wherein dancers form a circle and perform basic movements that symbolize wishes for community health and harmony.

What is Vietnamese hat dance? ›

Hat dance is one of the most famous traditional dances in Vietnam. The conical hat used by the dancers has become the symbol of Vietnam. However hat dances in Vietnam are not just conical hat, but some dancers also use the graceful traditional flat-palm hat or known as “Nón Quai Thao.”

What is the most famous tradition in Vietnam? ›

1. Lunar New Year (Tet Nguyen Dan) Lunar New Year, or Tet, is considered the most important festival and holiday in Vietnam.

What is the ethnic music of Vietnam? ›

Vietnamese folk music is extremely diverse and includes dân ca, quan họ, hát tuồng, hát chầu văn, ca trù, hò, hát xẩm, hát xoan, bài chòi, đờn ca tài tử, ca Huế and trống quân, among other forms.

What is Vietnamese famous for? ›

Vietnam is known for being a popular tourist destination because of its beautiful beaches, it's culture, amazing food (like pho), and friendly people. Vietnam is also famous for the Vietnam War, motorbikes (86% of households have one), Vietnamese coffee, floating markets and rice terraces.

What are the different kinds of traditional and modern Vietnamese music? ›

There are three main styles of Vietnamese music: 1) the Hue style (with an emphasis on solo pieces); 2) northern professional style (often accompanied by a lute); and 3) southern amateur style (incorporates more western instruments such as violins and Hawaiian guitars).

Which the influences the traditional folk music of Vietnam? ›

Traditional Vietnamese music is highly diverse and syncretistic, combining native and foreign influences. Throughout its history, Vietnam has been heavily impacted by the Chinese musical tradition, as an integral part, along with Korea, Mongolia and Japan.

What is the Bao dance? ›

The Bao Dance comes from the Tagalog region. It is a festival dance performed at the harvesting of the cocoanuts. It is danced with ease and grace characteristic of the Philippine folk dance. The dancers hold a half cocoanut shell in each hand and strike them together to provide a rhythmic accompaniment to the dance.

What does the lion dance symbolize in Vietnamese culture? ›

They are holding on to the beloved Vietnamese tradition, the Lion Dance, which is performed every year at the Tet Festival to celebrate the Vietnamese New Year. The dance symbolizes the removal of negative energies, as the lion is a creature believed to bring good luck, health, and prosperity.

What is the Vietnamese headpiece called? ›

This headpiece is called a “khan dong”. It is an ornate and colorful band worn by women around the head, and not just any women but Vietnamese brides. This is a specific wedding headwear.

What are the 5 characteristics of Vietnamese? ›

An overview of five main characteristics of Vietnamese culture shows that the core qualities or values of Vietnamese are senses of patriotism, national pride, humanity, community and sophistication.

What is the festival in Vietnam? ›

There are two main traditional festivals celebrated in Vietnam by the locals are Tet and Mid-Autumn Festival. Tet is also known as the Vietnamese New Year and it is considered as the celebration of Thanksgiving, Christmas and one's birthday on one day.

What are the three traditional religion that influenced the Vietnam? ›

Vietnamese religion was a syncretic amalgamation of the three great religions of East Asia—Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism—onto which had been added a rich variety of preexisting animist beliefs.

What is the most important celebration for Vietnamese people? ›

Tet Nguyen Dan, shortened to Tet, is Vietnam's Lunar New Year and is the most important annual celebration and public holiday in Vietnam spanning 5-7 days.

What are examples of ethnic music? ›

Whether we would classify as "ethnic" songs and music examples such as Celtic Hip Hop, Yiddish Blues, or Ethiopian Jazz, all blends of ethnic traditional sounds with modern western music, remains a question for readers to consider.

What kind of music is most popular in Vietnam? ›

The music scene in Vietnam is dominated by pop music and sentimental ballads. There are different kinds of “tan co” (Vietnamese pop). Among them are “nhac ngoai” (western songs), “nhac tru tihn” (sickenly sweet sentimental ballads and pop sung in Vietnamese).

What was Vietnam called? ›

Cochin China was used by the Portuguese to refer to the southern third of modern Vietnam, probably in order to distinguish it from the Cochin in India. The French kept this term for the south, adding Annam for the middle region, and Tonkin for the northern third.

What kind of language is Vietnamese? ›

Vietnamese (Vietnamese: tiếng Việt) is an Austroasiatic language originating from Vietnam where it is the national and official language.

How many years old is Vietnam? ›

Vietnam's first civilizations arose in the Red River Valley some 5,000 years ago. These northern tribes flourished until 207 B.C., when their region was conquered by a Chinese lord, who established a kingdom called Nam Viet.

What are the characteristic of traditional Vietnamese music? ›

The music in Vietnam spans imperial, ceremonial, folk, hip hop, and rock music. Vietnamese musical instruments can be divided into 4 groups: plucked strings, bowed strings, winds and percussion. The most notable feature of Vietnamese classical music is that it is based on a pentatonic or 5 note scale.

How many types of Vietnamese are there? ›

There are three major dialects spoken within Vietnam: Hanoi (Northern Vietnamese) dialect, Hue (Central Vietnamese) dialect, and Saigon (Southern Vietnamese) dialect. The Northern dialect forms the basis of the standard language and is the prestige dialect.

What is the popular Vietnamese folk song usually performed by female singers? ›

Ca trù This type of folk music is a singing of women. It is originated from 15th century.

What influenced Vietnamese culture? ›

Vietnamese art is mainly influenced by Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism. However, more recently, the Cham and French influence have also been reflected in the art presentations.

What is the purpose of traditional folk painting Vietnam? ›

“Traditional Vietnamese folk painting contents can be divided into four categories, including paintings for worshiping, celebrating, illustrating history, and reflecting on people's daily lives. The paintings contain many layers of aesthetic value, and national quintessence alike.

What is Kuratsa? ›

Kuratsa is a dance of flirtation and courtship, designed to be danced with a partner. Its movements mimic the mating ritual of a rooster and hen. Alcedo said that different versions of the dance could be found in north and central Philippines.

What is Maglalatik? ›

The Maglalatik (also known as Manlalatik or Magbabao) is a folk dance from the Philippines performed by male dancers. Coconut shell halves are secured onto the dancers' hands and on vests upon which are hung four or six more coconut shell halves.

What is Pasigin dance? ›

Pasiguin is a frolicking dance representing fishes getting out from torn fishnets, locally called sibot in Capiz. The dance is among the discoveries of dance researcher Petronila Suarez.

Where is the dragon dance from? ›

The dragon dance originated in China but has since spread to countries like Singapore. The history of the dragon dance dates back more than two thousand years to ancient China. It is mentioned in the Hanshu (汉书), a book about the history of the Han dynasty (206 BCE–220 CE).

What does a tiger mean in Vietnamese culture? ›

For a long time in Vietnamese folk beliefs, the tiger has been considered a sacred animal whose name is deified with such titles as “Sir” or “Master”. Many families worship the tiger to pray for fame and luck. At present, the image of the tiger is used to decorate during the Tet holiday.

What do turtles mean in Vietnamese culture? ›

Turtle (rùa)

The turtle has a special place in Vietnamese culture and history. It symbolises longevity, strength and intelligence and is also closely related to the independence of Vietnam in the 15th century.

What is a Vietnamese dress called? ›

The national traditional dress in Vietnam is the ao dai, a silk tunic with pants worn by women and men.

What is Vietnamese hair? ›

Vietnamese bulk hair

Vietnamese hair is softer than the Brazilian and Indian hair. The natural color of Vietnamese hair is always black and they blend well with the colors of African American women and also the Europe women. They are smoothy and very beautiful. The price is affordable and they can last very long.

Why do Vietnamese brides wear red? ›

For Đám Hỏi, the Vietnamese engagement ceremony, brides will traditionally wear a red áo dài, representing happiness, luck, and prosperity. More modern brides have worn colors such as green, white, or pink. After marriage, Vietnamese women graduate to wearing richer, more vibrant colored áo dài.

Does Vietnam have snow? ›

Does it snow in Vietnam? The short answer is: no, it does not snow in Vietnam, as Vietnam falls within the tropical zone of the northern hemisphere. However, during winter there can be occasional light rain showers and chilly temperatures throughout the country.

How peaceful is Vietnam? ›

Vietnam. Vietnam recorded the fourth largest improvement in peacefulness on the 2021 GPI, improving by 5.3%. This improvement meant that Vietnam jumped 19 places in the overall rankings, and is now ranked 50th overall. It is the tenth most peaceful country in the Asia-Pacific region.

What was Vietnam known as before? ›

During the Tang dynasty, Vietnam was called Annam until 866 AD. With its capital around modern Bắc Ninh, Annam became a flourishing trading outpost, receiving goods from the southern seas.

What are the five most important values of Vietnamese culture? ›

Vietnamese cultural values emphasize the importance of family and community. Its core values, which embrace the principles of Confucianism, are harmony, duty, honor, respect, education and allegiance to the family.

Is Vietnamese a poor country? ›

Vietnam exceeded its 2017 GDP growth target of 6.7% with growth of 6.8%, primarily due to unexpected increases in domestic demand, and strong manufacturing exports.
Vietnam Economy Data.
Currency Name and CodeVietnamese Dong (VND)
Population Below Poverty Line10.6%
Inflation Rate11.8%
Labor Force46,210,000
24 more rows

What is Vietnamese culture similar to? ›

The traditional Vietnamese culture is very similar to Chinese. It places strong value on family, raising the young and taking care of elders are considered as their natural responsibility. It is very common to see many generations live under one roof.

What is the culture and tradition of Vietnam? ›

Part of the East Asian cultural sphere, Vietnamese culture has certain characteristic features including ancestor veneration and worship, respect for community and family values, and manual labor religious belief. Important cultural symbols include 4 holy animals: Dragons, Turtles, Phoenix, Unicorn.

What is the traditional Vietnamese dress called? ›

The national traditional dress in Vietnam is the ao dai, a silk tunic with pants worn by women and men. Ao dài are worn for special occasions including Tet, the new year celebration.

What is the traditional dance in Cambodia? ›

Apsara is the most popular form of classical Cambodian dance. The Khmer King Javayarman VII in the 12th century was said to have over 3000 Apsara dancers in his court. The dance moves in slow, hypnotic, and gentle paces in order to reflect the idea that spirits entrap mortals with their beauty.

Are lion dances Vietnamese? ›

The lion dance is usually performed during the Chinese New Year and other Chinese traditional, cultural and religious festivals.

What is important to Vietnamese culture? ›

Vietnamese cultural values emphasize the importance of family and community. Its core values, which embrace the principles of Confucianism, are harmony, duty, honor, respect, education and allegiance to the family.

What are Vietnamese known for? ›

Vietnam is known for being a popular tourist destination because of its beautiful beaches, it's culture, amazing food (like pho), and friendly people. Vietnam is also famous for the Vietnam War, motorbikes (86% of households have one), Vietnamese coffee, floating markets and rice terraces.

What is a Vietnamese tea ceremony called? ›

The tea ceremony (called as Đám Hỏi or Ăn Hỏi in Vietnamese), is usually took place one month or one week before the wedding day. It is considered as an official announcement that a wedding will take place soon and marks the day that the future bride is now the fiancée of the future groom.

What is the traditional dance of Laos? ›

The most popular folk dance, however, is the lam vong (ລຳວົງ [lám wóŋ]). It is the national dance of Laos, and versions of it exist throughout the Lao-speaking region and even Cambodia, where it is known as ramvong.

What is the most popular traditional dance? ›

Top 10 Most Popular Folk Dances in the World.
  • Samba (Brazil) Yes, it might sound as one of the toughest dances to excel at but for the Brazilians', it's all in a day's work. ...
  • Tarantella (Italy) ...
  • Flamenco (Spain) ...
  • Tango (Argentina) ...
  • Hula (Hawaii) ...
  • Bharatanatyam (India) ...
  • Apsara (Cambodia) ...
  • Irish step dance (Ireland)

Where is Muchongoyo dance from? ›

In Zimbabwe's Chipinge, Chimanimani, Chiredzi, and Buhera districts, muchongoyo is a traditional dance that is performed. It particularly identifies with the Ndau people, though less strongly with the Tsonga (Shangani) people. Muchongolo is the name of it in Tsonga.

Can girls lion dance? ›

In recent years, however, women have been practicing and performing lion dances to break down gender barriers and take ownership of this form.

Is it dragon or lion dance? ›

Lion dance is a form of traditional dance in Chinese culture, in which performers mimic a lion's movements in a lion costume Asiatic lions found in nearby India are the ones depicted in the Chinese culture. In the dance, a team of people carry the dragon — which is an image of the Chinese dragon — on poles.


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