Hanoi postpones West Lake pedestrian street opening until October

NDO – A wide variety of unique cultural activities targeting children are being held throughout this August at the Vietnam National Village for Ethnic Culture and Tourism, in the Dong Mo tourism area of Son Tay town, Hanoi. Under the programme, children visiting the village will be provided with an opportunity to learn about the daily life, traditional crafts, cultural practices and signature dishes of Vietnam’s ethnic groups across the country, including the Tay, Muong, Dao, Ta Oi, Co Tu, E De, Khmer and Thai groups. They will also be invited to take part in folk games, such as Con (cloth ball) throwing, stick pushing, walking on stilts and sack races; or enjoy thrilling circus programmes, as well as competing at a children’s painting contest themed ‘I Love My Village’, which is scheduled on August 5 and 6. Folk songs and dances, gong performances and concerts of traditional musical instruments will also be staged, to the delight of visitors, during the event. Popular traditional festivals of the Ta Oi and Co Tu ethnic groups in Thua Thien – Hue province and the Thai ethnic group in Moc Chau district, Son La province will be introduced to visitors on August 13, 19, and 20, respectively. Notably, children aged between 8 and 15 can register for a free training course on experiencing Buddhist monastic life. During the two-day course, participants will learn about meditation, Buddhist rituals and Buddha’s teachings on humanism and being a well behaved child.... [read more]

Vietnamese people call the 7th full moon festival “Vu Lan bao hieu” (Parents' Day) or “Xa toi vong nhan” (Wandering Soul’s Day). The festival is the second largest annual traditional festival of Vietnam after the lunar New Year (Tet) festival, and it is celebrated by Vietnamese people participating in various religious rituals and humanitarian activities. From traditional customs The seventh lunar month is believed to be the time wandering souls are returning to their former homes. Ancient legend has it that a Buddha's disciple named Muc Kien Lien saw his mother suffering from hell’s tortures. Following Buddha’s advice, on the seventh full moon of the year, Muc Kien Lien gathered monks and devotees to pray for his mother’s relief. Hence, such gathering has become an annual festival to express gratitude towards parents and ancestors. During the festival, people visit pagodas and temples to worship, burn incense and offer votives to their ancestors and wandering souls. They prepare offerings of food, clothes and votive papers, and release animals like birds or fish. They also buy presents and flowers to show their deep love and gratitude towards their parents. Many people go to pagoda on this occasion, wearing either a red rose if their parents are alive or a white rose if their parents have passed away. The rose is a symbol of love and gratitude shown by every family towards their ancestors. Nguyen Thi Sen, 64, a resident of Hanoi, says her family holds a religious ritual to worship ancestors and…... [read more]

Together with two other common village symbols-the banyan tree and the well-the temple is essential to the spiritual life of almost all people in rural areas. The village temple serves as a common playground for kids, a place of worship for adults, and an ideal meeting hall for village elders to impart their wisdom to youngsters. Every village in the countryside has its own temple and grounds that transform into a venue for religious rituals and contests during traditional festivals. The temple is also a launching pad for national patriotic movements or acts of charity. The lead-up to the spring and Lunar New Year (Tet) holiday is an especially busy time as villagers make use of temple ground for communal preparations and celebrations. They gather for music and dance performances, and folk games like wrestling, ball throwing, and tug-of-war. For centuries, the village temple has functioned as both a communal house and a place of worship dedicated to village founders and other notables who are seen as the source of all wisdom. As a token of local culture, lifestyle and traditions, a typical village temple is built on highest ground with its huge wooden pillars resting on square stones. The temple roof is often constructed to evoke the shape of a ship and its intricate decoration includes images of dragons, flowers of four seasons, and human activity. Villagers assemble at their temple on special occasions to offer incense and pray for fair weather, happiness, prosperity, and good luck. Many old…... [read more]

The story best known in modern China holds that the festival commemorates the death of the poet and minister Qu Yuan, who committed suicide by drowning himself in a river, in despair of being wrongfully accused of treason and exiled. Therefore, in the festival, Chinese people will float traditional food onto rivers to worship the talented poet. In Vietnam, the Double Fifth Festival, or Tet Doan Ngo, is more widely known as the Pest Killing Fest. This is because when the festival is observed, on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month, pests begin to rapidly multiply and attack the summer crops. Clearly a perfect time for farmers to roll up their sleeve and kill some pests. But the tradition does not stop there. Vietnamese believe that it is also important to deal with the pests that stay inside one's soul during the festival. Therefore, in the early morning, one must begin his or her day with a small bowl of cơm rượu, a rice wine dessert, even before breakfast. The dessert is believed to be strong enough to kill all the inner insects, which are too hungry after a long night and will devour the sweet dessert in the morning. Then, Vietnamese families will begin to enjoy other dishes made from glutinous rice, which are symbolic for their hope of an abundant summer. Bánh ú, a pyramid-shaped rice cake, is a must for the festival. There is a different version of the cake, which include pork and eggs.…... [read more]

A surgeon who leaves no scars behind Free clinic in Cần Thơ helps poor patients Precious lotus roots and leaves Gov't to toughen IP rights enforcement "Scrap villages" might explode in Hà Nội Sour & spicy: Dưa hành (pickled welsh onion) helps digest a heavy Tết meal. Viet Nam News Việt Nam's biggest, most important traditional festival, Tết (Lunar New Year Festival), is a time of renewal, a time to welcome Spring, a time to thank Gods and ancestors and pray for their blessings. Special dishes are made to offer the Gods before they are shared by family and friends. In that spirit, Foodwise shares with you some stories about a few delicious Tết dishes cooked in the country's three regions. There are nine traditional dishes made in the north of the country, but one that can be considered the very soul of Vietnamese Tết is the bánh chưng (square cake). This special cake carries the fragrance and sweetness of glutinous rice, the buttery taste of green bean, the meaty flavour of pork and light hotness of peppercorns. For thousands of years, this cake has always been present on the ancestral altar of every family in the north. The legend is that the 6th Hùng King, who wanted someone to succeed him, told princes that he would abdicate it to whoever brings the most special things to worship Heaven and Earth before the Lunar New Year. Most of the princes searched high and low, in the mountains and the seas,…... [read more]

The figure will be announced in December by tourism experts and managers based on criteria set by the Institute of Tourism Development Research. By the end of November, 2010. Thua Thien-Hue had received nearly 1.4 million visitors, a year-on-year increase of 11.7 percent. The number of foreign arrivals to Hue also increased by 7.9 percent. Its tourism sector earned VND774 billion, up 20.4 percent compared to the same period last year. The number of foreigners visiting Hue through Chan May Port reached 20,000, four times higher than in previous years. Many luxury cruise ships have docked at Chan May Port, such as the Queen Elizabeth II from the UK and the Rhapsody of the Seas from the US, often carry out around 2,000 passengers from countries across the world. In addition to Hue’s imperial relics, the province has more than 500 festivities, including more than 100 traditional festivals which have been revived and promoted. The Hue Festival is held biennially on even years and the Hue Traditional Craft Festival is also organised every second odd year. They have become a special and unique part of THua Thien-Hue. Traditional craft villages with famous products have been preserved and promoted to attract more visitors, such as the My Xuyen sculptures, Phuoc Tich ceramics, Thanh Tien paper flowers, Lang Sinh traditional pictures, Phuong Duc bronze casts and Zeng A Luoi weaving. The province now also promotes nearly 1,700 traditional and imperial recipes. With all these advantages, Thua Thien-Hue became the nation’s cultural and…... [read more]

2012 Hue festival wrapped up The Hue festival held every two years also attracts a large number of tourists and artists from nearly 30 countries across the globe, with a diverse range of cultural and tourism programmes. This year, the province will host 20 major events, including 11 at national scale organised by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. Between July and August, the province will host the national professional theatre festival with the largest-ever scale, while the popular singing contest Sao Mai Diem Hen (Morning Star - Rendezvous) is scheduled for August. It will try to seek partners to operate more air services to Phu Bai international airport, and sea routes to Chan May port as well. On top of this, the locality will focus all resources to complete the construction of key sites in major tourist areas, build a trademark for Thuan An beach and expand market in the northeastern Asia. Thua Thien – Hue has also been making efforts to preserve and promote its rich cultural heritage to serve tourism. Phan Tien Dung, Director of the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism said among more than 500 local traditional festivals, over 100 have been revived, helping bring more tourists to the locality. During the first seven months of this year, the province earned nearly US$145.5 million from tourism.... [read more]

There have been 803,000 foreign nationals from China, Thailand, Italy, Spain, the UK, the US, Canada and Australia alone, showing a year-on-year increase of 26 percent. Since the beginning of the year, the province has organised more than 30 major programmes as part of the 2012 National Tourism Year for the North Central region to attract tourists, 11 of which are culture, sports and tourism specific programmes at both national and international levels. The programmes have focussed on traditional festivals, such as the Hue Festival 2012 and Buddhist Festival, as well as beach tours around Tam Giang lagoon, Thuan An beach and Lang Co bay. The recent Hue Festival 2012 attracted 180,000 visitors, including 80,000 foreign nationals, about 50 percent more than in 2010. The number of sea travellers to Hue has also risen sharply. This year, Thua Thien-Hue plans to welcome 25 cruise ships, bringing 40,000 new arrivals, mainly from China, Spain, the UK, the US and Canada.... [read more]

Spring is festival season in Vietnam, attracting crowds of people from all over the world. For the Vietnamese, the festivals are an indispensable part of their spiritual and cultural life. Radio Voice of Vietnam (VOV) talked to Vuong Duy Bao, Deputy Head of the Culture Department of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism about the organisation and management of Vietnam’s Spring festivals. Reporter: Going on a pilgrimage and taking part in festivals early in the lunar New Year is a Vietnamese tradition. Managing festivals properly to keep them in line with cultural traditions is a matter of great importance. Is there anything new in this year’s festival management? Mr Bao: According to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Vietnam has 7,966 festivals, divided into five categories: folklore, revolutionary history, religion, foreign culture and culture, sports and tourism. Culture, sports and tourism festivals are a new festive form, which has developed rapidly since Vietnam’s international integration. To prepare for the 2010 festivals, the Party Central Committee’s Propaganda and Education Commission has asked media agencies and culture, sports and tourism departments throughout the country to help discourage public behaviour damaging to Vietnam’s scenic beauty or natural environment. Early this year, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism instructed relevant agencies to work hard to ensure a safe and healthy celebration of the lunar New Year Festival and major national events. On January 22, the Ministry held online conferences in Hanoi, HCM City and Danang on festival management in 2010. On…... [read more]

The project aims to address the lack of clean water in the capital and also provide water for the traditional festival of Bunpimay which will be held from April 14-16. The Mai Dong Water Company will contribute 80 percent of the capital for the project to run for 30 years. The plant will increase the amount of water, it can process by 1.5 times in 2015. Laos’ authorities are calling on the public to save as much water as possible because water levels in the Mekong River have dropped to a record low. The Director of the Vientiane Water Supply Company, Daophet Buapha, said the city is seriously short of clean water as the company can only provide about 160,000cu.m per day, far less than the required volume.... [read more]

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