Poster of the 4th Traditional Craft Villages Festival 2011, to take place in the ancient capital of Hue from April 30 to May 3.
Traditional foods will be the highlight of the fourth Traditional Craft Villages Festival 2011, themed “Vietnamese Kitchen in Hue’s Garden” and will be held in the ancient capital of Hue from April 30 to May 3.
The festival which will be organized in three areas: Ngo Mon Square (Noon Gate), Dai Noi (Royal Palace) and at the Huong (Perfume) River bank. The biennial festival will introduce hundreds of specialty dishes from the south, Hanoi and Hue. Native bonsais plants from all across Vietnam will be showcased to plant lovers.
Some local dishes featured will be heo nuong lu (baked pork in jar), chao luon dau xanh (eel porridge cooked with green peas), oc buou hap hem (medium-sized edible snail steamed with draff) and more will be served in the southern cuisine pavilion. While enjoying these culinary treats in the pavilion, festival goers will be delighted with a performance of don ca tai tu (southern amateur music), Khmer dance and folk music.
Save some room for the northern food and recipes pavilion which will attract visitors with its offerings of Hanoi specialties and performances of ca tru (an ancient genre of chamber music featuring female vocalists, with origins in northern Vietnam) and hat xam (a type of Vietnamese folk music which was popular in the northern region of Vietnam).
For those who like to eat like a King, the food sections in Ngo Mon Square will represent culinary delights from the central area of Hue. According to officials from the Hue People’s Council, they will introduce traditional Hue dishes including vegetarian foods, royal dishes, sweet soups, and rice and cakes.
According to the organizers at Ngo Mon Square there will also be a floating food fair on Huong River in the evening, a cooking contest for children during the festival, and an exhibition of ancient cooking utensils at the Lieu Quang cultural center and Ta Vu House in Dai Noi.
In addition, the event will include street music, artistic kite performances, folk games, a human chess contest and an exhibition of ornamental tree and culinary arts along Phu Van Lau Park and Nguyen Dinh Chieu walking street. Many artisans of ornamental tree clubs throughout Vietnam will join the show.
The festival is held every two years and aims to encourage visitors to come to Thua Thien-Hue Province, and to Hue City, in particular.
See best hotels in hue at the website http://Vietnamhotels.net/.
Source: Thanh Nien
VietNamNet Bridge – With the theme “Nha Trang – Khanh Hoa: Civilized and Hospitality”, the Nha Trang Sea Festival 2011, will take place from June 11-15 in Nha Trang City. The festival will have one day event for Truong Sa (Spratly) Archipelago.
The sea festival will include around 50 events which will run throughout June. The most important parts will be activities to support the International Environmental Day (June 5), the International Ocean Day (June and the “Day for Truong Sa”.
The “Day for Truong Sa” is the day for mainland people to show their love to those who are living and working on Truong Sa Archipelago. Various activities will be organized on the day, such as a workshop on Truong Sa, screening films about Truong Sa, photo and painting exhibitions of Truong Sa, art performances, etc.
Khanh Hoa Province’s Chair, Le Xuan Than, confirmed that the festival will be a big and interesting event which features the characters of Nha Trang.
The Nha Trang Sea Festival has been held for four times and has become a major tourism event in Nha Trang city.
Vietnam currently has over 8,000 festivals from grass-roots to national levels that can be divided into such categories as folk, historic-revolutionary, religious, foreign-origin, and cultural-sport-tourism.
The last category has emerged during the country’s renewal process and international integration.
In Vietnam, Spring is seen as the season of festivals. Since the old days, traditional festivals have become an indispensable part of people’s life.
The traditional festivals evoke patriotism, national sense, massive solidarity, exchanges. They are also platforms to preserve, pass down the national culture. However, some festivals still contain “non-cultural” activities that should be eradicated.
Dr. Ngo Duc Thinh, folk culture scholar, member of the National Heritage Council said that recent festivals are featured with suddenly growing participants, imposing challenges for authorities to mange and organise.
The establishment of too many altars and merit boxes in historic relics has contributed to reducing spiritual aspect of the relics, deforming festivals and citing the sense of material appreciation in the society, he continued.
In recent years, local authorities have often interfered in festivals which originally belonged to the masses. This naturally causes them to become viewers of festivals.
What should be done now is to let the masses master the festivals and local authorities just take supporting role to make sure that the values of the festivals could be promoted, Dr. Thinh said.
He proposed that there are five values of festivals that we need to preserve to nurture people’s cultural identities as follows:
Firstly, festivals satisfy people’s thirst to return to the roots. The more modern the society is, the more people wish to learn about their original nation, nature and history.
Secondly, through festivals, people often want to demonstrate the strength of their communities or regions that is not only necessary for the past but also for the current course of modernisation and industrialisation.
Thirdly, the festivals provide room for people to come in for and create culture. In the past, festivals are important events in daily life. In modern time, despite many forms of culture creation, people still need festivals to practice community culture.
Fourthly, the festivals help people to balance spiritual and real life, drive people forward to achieving more beautiful and noble things. In the old days, festivals were kinds of entertainment to create harmony.
Last but not least, the festivals are also platforms for people to preserve, archive and pass down traditional cultural identities to the next generations. It is way to ensure our long-lasting and harmonious culture.
Collected by Vietnam hotel
Vietnam held a ceremony on January 22 to officially receive certification from UNESCO for the Saint Giong Festival as an Vietnam Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Vietnam held a ceremony on January 22 to officially receive certification from UNESCO for the Saint Giong Festival as an Intangible Cultural Heritage.
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Hanoi’s municipal government and the Vietnam National Commission for UNESCO helped to organise the ceremony in Phu Dong, Gia Lam district.
UNESCO gave a notification for the festival in both the Phu Dong Temple, and Soc Son Temple (in Soc Son district) on November 11, 2010.
The ceremony drew the participation of UNESCO Chief Representative in Vietnam, Katherine Muller Marin, from 400 to 500 officials and between 7,000 and 8,000 locals.
The ceremony featured the important traditional parts of the Saint Giong Festival, staged by people of the villages.
The performance including about 500 people featured Mua co (literally translated as dancing with flags), as well as two traditional games, Cuop chieu, and Keo chu.
Collected by Vietnam hotel
The first International Choir Festival & Competition will be held in the ancient town of Hoi An in the central province of Quang Nam from March 16-20.
More than 1,000 national and international singers from over 30 choirs will perform and compete in the festival.
The event is part of the 2011 National Tourism Year program in the central coastal region of Phu Yen province.
It is also seen as an opportunity to promote the cultural heritage of the region and to tap the tourism potential for international travelers.
The festival is being organized jointly by Quang Nam province and the German-based Association InterKultur.
The opening ceremony of the festival will take place on a floating stage at the Song Hoai (Hoai River) Square in Hoi An Town.
Collected by Vietnam hotel
Vietnam’s Saint Giong Festival has been put among 47 nominations for recognition as the world intangible cultural heritages by the UNESCO. The list was announced by the UNESCO on Nov. 9.
At present, 166 heritages of 77 countries have been recognised as world intangible cultural heritages. Vietnam has 4 heritages in this list, including the Hue royal court music, the Gong space of Tay Nguyen (Central Highlanders), Ca Tru singing and the Bac Ninh love duet singing.
Saint Giong festival is a unique traditional event in Vietnam, held annually from the 6th-12th of the fourth lunar month in many places in Vietnam to commemorate the legendary national hero who grew from a 3-year-old child into a giant overnight to help drive out invaders from the country.
The 9th of the fourth lunar month is the major day for the biggest Saint Giong festival at Phu Dong village in Gia Lam district of Hanoi where this national hero was born.
The festival is a chance for visitors to watch the performance of traditional rituals and artistic activities which have been handed down from generations to generations.
People all over Vietnam have been preparing offerings for their ancestors and attending activities during Vu Lan festival.
The street selling votive paper products have been busier, restaurants offering vegetarian food have been filled with an abundance of customers, and people have been flocking to pagodas to pray for the deceased in honour of Vu Lan Festival.
Which motorbike is better? (Photo by T. Nguyen)
Vu Lan festival, also known as the Amnesty of Unquiet Spirits, is held during the seventh month of the lunar calendar. It is a chance for Vietnamese children to honour their parents and try to help the lost souls of their ancestors find their way back to earth.
Activities during the month include preparing ritualistic food offerings, burning incense, and burning joss paper, a paper-mache form of material items such as clothes, gold, bank notes and other fine goods for the visiting spirits of the ancestors.
In Hanoi, during the Vu Lan holiday, Hang Ma Street selling votive paper products are the busiest.
From the beginning of the 7th month of the lunar calendar, Thu, came to Hang Ma Street where sells votive paper products in order to buy necessary offerings for her family’s Vu Lan.
Votive paper products sold out on Hang Ma street (Photo by T. Nguyen)
In order to meet various demands of customers, the whole of Hang Ma street displays and sells many kinds of votive paper products ranging from traditional items such as ao tu than (4-part dress), coi trau (Betel chewing kit), non la (palm-leaf conial hat) or horse drawn carts to modern items such as cars, motorbikes, fridges or televisions.
In addition, votive paper multi-floor houses were made in a very sophisticated manner. A good 3 floor house cost about VND180,000-250,000 ($9.1-12.7). A good quality paper car or motorbike sells for about VND80,000-100,000 ($4.1-5.1). A television or fridge might sell for about VND50,000 ($2.5).
A standard offerings kit could cost a total of nearly VND1.2 million ($61). However, according to sellers here, many rich customers were willing to spend dozens of millions of dong on very expensive kits.
A shop owner on Hang Ma Street shared that they had sold out of expensive offerings since the 14th of the month. Now they have only normal offerings left.
In Ho Chi Minh City, goods for the festival varied but the customer demand was not remarkable. In big markets, the number of sellers seemed to be more than buyers.
Many customers go to enjoy vegetarian food during Vu Lan
Nguyen Thi Hien, selling vegetarian food said the prices and demand for vegetarian food during this festival were not so high. She presumed that heavy rains made many people not want to go to markets.
An agent selling votive paper products in Binh Tay market, Ho Chi Minh City said, “The number of customers had increased for this half month but they did not buy much. We expected that they would have many customers buying large offerings kits this year. We did not know that our sales result would turn out like this.”
However, many special programmes for the festival held in restaurants and at tourism sites attracted quite a lot of visitors. Suoi Tien Tourism site received over 1,000 monks from Ho Chi Minh City and its neighbouring provinces, cities as well as thousands of tourists and locals on the opening ceremony of the festival.
In addition, many restaurants offering vegetarian food had lured customers as well.
Thien, living in District 3 said, “On this occasion I want to take my parents to a good restaurant to enjoy vegetarian dishes. They often prepare this kind of food at home but on this day I want them to have time to take rest.”
According to a vegetarian restaurant owner on Road 3/3, District 10, many families here are tending to welcome the festival at vegetarian restaurants because it’s not easy to prepare vegetarian dishes at home.
In Hue City, many young people were excited to visit pagodas, the gravestones of their ancestors or making vegetarian food at home.
Many young people go to pagodas to pray for their ancestors
Nguyen Hoang Nguyen living in Hue City said, “It’s a traditional festival in our country so we should honour and celebrate it.”
Le Thi Dung, studying at Nguyen Hue Secondary School shared, “It’s great because my mother and I will go to the market and buy fruit and food to offer our ancestors and dead grandparents.”
Nguyen Cong, a student said, “I was born in Quang Nam Province but I am studying in Hue City. I went to the pagoda to pray for my parents to have good health.”
In Nghe An Province, Quan Lau, Quang Trung and Ga Vinh markets have been full of customers who out to buy offerings for the deceased. Votive paper products had the best sales.
Nguyen Thi Chau had bought many things such as joss paper, a paper car, a fridge and more. She believes that it’s necessary to give the dead essential items which the living use on earth.
Thai Thi Thuy, a seller in Quang Trung market said she tried to give the dead as many offerings as possible on this day.
There are many kinds of votive paper products (Photo by Nguyen Duy – Thanh Ha)
Thang Long Lantern Parade, the largest event of its kind so far, will take place on Mid-Autumn Festival Eve on September 22 around Hoan Kiem Lake.
Sponored by Tivi Phale Co.,Ltd., the parade will have the participation of a unicorn-lion-dragon dance troupe, including a dragon of 1000 meter. Up to 1000 lanterns will be used in the parade, plus 1200 lantern decorations along the street by Hoan Kiem Lake.
Around 1000 lotuses will be released in Hoan Kiem Lake as well.
After the parade, the Mid-Autumn Festival will be held at Ly Thai To flower garden for kids. 1000 pupils from kindergartens will perform songs and dances. The party will feature two giant moon cakes.
The Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival, is a popular harvest festival celebrated by Chinese and Vietnamese people. It is held on the 15th day of the eighth month in the lunar calendar, which is usually around late September or early October. It parallels the autumnal equinox of the solar calendar, when the moon is supposedly at its fullest and roundest. The traditional food for this festival is the mooncake, of which there are many different varieties.
family members and friends will gather to admire the bright mid-autumn harvest moon, and eat moon cakes and pomelo together. The Vietnamese version of the holiday recounts the legend of Cuoi, whose wife accidentally urinated on a sacred banyan tree, taking him with it to the Moon. Every year children light lanterns and participate in a procession to show Cuoi the way to Earth. Besides the indigenous tale of the banyan tree, other legends are widely told including the story of the Moon Lady, and the story of the carp who wanted to become a dragon.
One important event before and during the Mid-Autumn Festival are lion dances. The dances are performed by both non-professional children’s groups and trained professionals. Lion dances on the streets go from house to house asking for permission to perform. If accepted, “the lion” will come in and start dancing as a wish of luck and fortune and the host gives lucky money to show their appreciation.
Thousands of people annually gathered at the stadium of Do Son Town, Hai Phong City to witness the attractive performances of buffalos within the Do Son Buffalo Fighting Festival, an outstanding and unique festival one in Vietnam which is associated with different legends.
One of the legends has it that long time ago, one Creator caused a severe drought. All living things looked toward the sea, praying for Creator’s favour. In the most miserable moment, suddenly, people saw two buffalos fighting fiercely on the wave crests and the rains started to pour down, revive all creature. The local people organise the fighting performance annually to show, not only their great gratitude for the Sir Buffalo but also their desire for the immortal vitality and strength of coastal people of Haiphong. Being held officially and annually on the ninth day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar since the 18th century, the festival is a chance for local people to pray for prosperity and happiness.
The preparation for this buffalo fighting festival is an elaborate process, from the 5th and the 6th lunar month itself. The competing buffalos must be carefully selected and methodically trained months in advance of the festival. These buffalos, that had experienced the qualifying round, must be between 4 and 5 years old, with a good appearance, a wide chest, a big groin, a long neck, an acute bottom and bow shaped horns. The selected buffalos, after all the elimination rounds, are fed in separate cages to keep them from contact with common buffalos.
Buffalo fighting performance
The beginning of the worshipping ceremony lasts until lunch time. Do Son Buffalo Fighting Festival takes off with a colorful procession with an octet and a big procession chair, carried by six strong young men. The chosen buffalos, covered with red cloth and red band around their horns, are taken to the fighting ring by 24 young men, from each side dressed in red. The young men dance and wave flags as the two teams of troops take their positions in the fighting ground. The dance was mingled with the ebullient sound of drums and gongs, bringing a hectic atmosphere to the festival. After this event, a pair of buffalos is led to opposite sides of the festival grounds and is made to stand near two flags called Ngu Phung. As soon as the right signal is released, the two buffalos are led into the fighting circle. At the next signal, the two leaders release the ropes that are attached to the noses of the buffalos. With well-practiced movements, the buffalos rush into each other, using their fighting skills to decide the right to enter the next match while the spectators shout and urge the fighting along. Then, the winning buffalo goes to the next round till the final winner emerges. The matches varied in terms of time, depending on the strength and stamina of the buffalos. At the completion of the fight, the spectacle of “receiving the buffalos” is very interesting as the leaders must then catch the winning buffalo to grant it its reward.
The Buffalo Fighting in Do Son is traditional festival of Vietnam attached to a Water God worshipping ceremony and the “Hien Sinh” custom. The ceremony is held in every village and chaired by its patriarch to pray for the victory at the buffalo fight, typically express the martial spirit of the local people in Do Son, Hai Phong. In recent years, this traditional festival attracted not only local residents but also thousands of domestic and international tourists.
Source: Vietnam Culture
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Every year, on the 15th day of the 8th month in lunar calendar, the children throughout the country in Vietnam are given permission by their parents to march in a procession and carry their lanterns, to eat the Mid-Autumn Festival cakes and to perform the dragon (unicorn) dance, oh, how great and uproarious they are!