Thursday, March 14, 2013

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Festive hues

As a Vietnamese saying goes, ‘January of the lunar calendar is the month of gatherings and fun,” scores of festivities have taken place all over the country this month.

The festivals are indicative of the harmony between humans and nature, among humans themselves, gratitude to the ancestors, appreciation of national ethics and traditional values, and preservation of iconic cultural pride.

Some festivals are for praying for blessings and good luck, some are for entertainment, while others are contemplative journeys into the past that express gratitude to ancestors.

Festivals such as those held at Huong pagoda, Vieng market, Tran temple and Dong Da, and festivities including going to the market at the beginning of the lunar year, boat races, bai choi (folk music from the central region) and neu (a tall bamboo pole) erection are all unique.

The Thuy Linh orb wrestling festival (in Hanoi’s Hoang Mai district) accentuates heroism, sportsmanship and physical fitness and stamina training. The almost-20 kg ball, made from jackfruit wood, has been replaced with a grapefruit for safety reasons.
Hre girls in central Binh Dinh province’s An Lao district perform the bamboo pole dance at the Lunar New Year village fete.
A scene from the bai choi fair, which was part of the Deo Nhong- Duong Lieu festival in central Binh Dinh province’s Phu My district.
Cooking rice with pipes in Thi Cam village in Hanoi’s Tu Liem district on the 8th day of Tet.
Youthfulness and physical strength are highlighted during the wrestling festival at Thu Le village in central Thua Thien- Hue province’s Quang Dien district.
The Hue Relic Conservation Center recreated the long-standing practice of erecting neu (a tall bamboo pole) inside the royal palace. The pole was solemnly carried through the palace before being erected at The Mieu temple.
Boat racing is a traditional festival in central coastal provinces. In Phan Thiet city, on the 2nd day of Tet every year, the strongest young fishermen are picked and they train hard to win the race.

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