Cultural managers, experts dignify holiness of traditional festivals

Religious festivals are sometimes marred by improper manners such as attendees throwing money to god’s palanquin during the parade and fighting for offerings on the altars, according to Trịnh Thị Thủy, deputy minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism. Last year, the Hương Pagoda festival attracted 1.5 million visitors. – Photo The Ministry hosted a conference to review the shortcomings of festivals in the previous year and to make plans for cultural festivals and activities held this year, especially during the New Year celebration. The conference was joined by representatives from a number of festivals’ organising boards and departments of culture nationwide. Beside the fine cultural values of the festivals, Thủy pointed out that there are many bad behaviours and manners displayed by participants and organisers. The Ministry mobilised local people and authorities to change aspects of festivals that are harmful to the environment, causing disorder and encouraging violence. Buffalo-fighting festivals were banned in Lào Cai, Yên Bái, Nghệ An and Quảng Nam provinces because they involved violence that may have a bad influence on the community, especially children. People no longer slaughter the pig at the Ném Thượng Village Festival in the northern province of Bắc Ninh.  “I acknowledge that the festival organisers tried to eliminate beggardom, overcharging for services and violent activities in festivals,” she said. “However, the effort hasn’t brought good results at all festivals.” She said there are several traditional festivals with violent and chaotic aspects such as at the Sóc Temple and Hương (Perfume) Pagoda… [Read full story]


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