Central coastal provinces attract visitors during New Year holidays

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The total figure represented a year-on-year increase of 11 percent. Foreign visitors numbered around 35,000.Meanwhile, central Quang Ngai province saw a record number of visitors – 3,500 – to its Ly Son island, a new tourist destination during the holiday.

Visitors tour Hoi An ancient townLy Son island is well known for relics related to naval soldiers from the Nguyen Dynasty who were assigned with missions to patrol and protect Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago.

The relics include Hoang Sa Bac Hai flotilla memorial and exhibition house and empty tombs for soldiers who died at sea.

The island hosts an annual boat racing festival between the fourth and eighth day of the Lunar New Year to wish for peace and prosperity for the people and to commemorate ancestors and Hoang Sa (Paracel) soldiers who protect the country’s sea and islands.

The festival dates back more than 300 years ago to the Nguyen Dynasty, when it was organised to choose the healthiest men for the team of Hoang Sa soldiers.

Source: hanoitimes.com.vn

Link: http://hanoitimes.com.vn/travel/attractions/2015/02/81e09045/central-coastal-provinces-attract-visitors-during-new-year-holidays/

Visit this famous Vietnamese cattle market (no, not that kind)

 Can Cau Cattle Market in the northern highlands province of Lao Cai is the largest of its kind in Vietnam’s northwestern region with hundreds of buffalo and cows put up for sale. It is organized every Saturday along the Can Chu Su Hill in Can Cau Commune, about 115 kilometers from Sa Pa.

 Most of the buffalo here are male, huge and strong with quite threatening looks.

It is not unusual for some of the aggressive-looking animals to suddenly start a fight.

 The market attracts many tourists, foreign and Vietnamese.

 Many people come to the market to sell and buy cattle, while some are just watchers.

 Some onlookers gather for chit-chats.

 Buffalo traders are recognizable with backpacks or shoulder bags, often made from traditional brocade. It is said that a trader can carry up to hundreds of millions of dong with them to the market.

 Although buffalo are often considered an important asset of farmers, they do not have fixed prices. Instead, both sellers and buyers decide on the animals’ value and then negotiate with each other. This buffalo for instance is offered at VND40 million (US$1,800).

 Among the buffalo put for sale, many are sold specifically for breeding, while others for farming or meat.

 Can Cau Market often ends soon after noon. When traders have bought enough buffalo and left with them on trucks, many sellers stay at the market to buy necessities before leaving as well.

Original Vietnamese story can be found here on VnExpress

Nguồn: www.Thanhniennews.Com

 

Art & Entertainment 14/2

Youth from 60 countries gather in town

&Ldquo;Global Village”, a cultural exchange between local and foreign students from 60 countries, took place at the Crescent Mall area in HCMC’s District 7 on Tuesday.

The event, hosted by the International Association of Students in Economic and Commercial Sciences (AIESEC), was aimed at connecting youth from around the world by performing unique pieces of music, and introducing national cuisine and customs.

Founded in 1948, AIESEC has more than 65 years of experience in developing highly potential youth into globally-minded responsible leaders. AIESEC is currently present in 124 countries and territories with more than 86,000 members.

Can Tho triumph at national unicorn-lion-dragon dance event

Can Tho's team triumphed at the National Unicorn-Lion-Dragon Dance Tournament, which concluded in Luu Huu Phuoc Park in the southern city of Can Tho, on Monday.

The host team won four gold medals, three silvers and three bronzes, and were followed by Binh Duong and HCM City.

This was the second time Can Tho hosted the two-day event, which drew nearly 400 athletes from 11 teams across the country, who competed in the men's and women's singles categories, as well as teams comprising both.

Cruises to bring tourists to Da Nang during Tet

The central city will host 3,200 tourists from cruises during Tet, the city's department of culture, sports and tourism said yesterday.

Three cruisers, the Germini, Costa Victoria and Volendam, will dock at Tien Sa Port for exploring destinations in the city as well as Hoi An and Hue.

Meanwhile, 14,000 visitors will land in the city via direct and chartered flights. The department will present lucky money to the first visitors at the port and airport.

According to the department, 64,000 tourists have already booked rooms at resorts and hotels during the nine-day Tet festival.

In 2014, Da Nang hosted four million tourists, including one million foreigners.

Entertainment fills Da Nang throughout holiday

The Viet Nam National Symphony Orchestra will perform a concert on the fourth day of the Lunar New Year (February 22) in the city's Trung Vuong Theatre.

Another show of tuong, Viet Nam's classical drama performance will be held at Nguyen Hien Dinh Theatre and September 23rd Park from the eve to the third day of Lunar New Year (February 19-21).

Dance troupes and pop bands will perform on the Han River Stage from February 15-25.

On the eve of the new year, fireworks will be launched in Ngu Hanh Son, Hai Chau, Lien Chieu and Hoa Vang districts.

Folk games and boat races will also be organised during the nine-day festival.

Hoi An to celebrate Year of the Goat with fireworks

The ancient town of Hoi An will organise a fireworks performance to begin the Lunar New Year festival at the An Hoi Sculpture Garden on the Hoai River on February 18.

A series of cultural activities including calligraphy, tree growing, a flower market and folk games will be held at the Japanese Bridge, Hoai River

Square and the old quarter of the tourism hub from February 18-28.

Tourists can also join a traditional boat race in the Hoai River on February 24.

Flower Street gets finishing touches

More than 80 workers are making final preparations on the At Mui Flower Road on Ham Nghi Street for the Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday.

Chiem Thanh Long, director of Binh Quoi Tourist Village, the main contractor of the At Mui Flower Road, said work was proceeding smoothly.

"It was a little strange initially. There is some difference between Nguyen Hue and Ham Nghi streets, so we had to make some adjustments," Long said.

In previous years, the Flower Street was set up on Nguyen Hue Street but it was moved to Ham Nghi because of construction work on a subway project.

Flowers are being transported from Sa Dec, Da Lat and HCM City.

Familiar scenes such as paddy farms, lotus ponds and bamboo hedges have been created along the street.

Besides traditional scenes depicting the countryside, modern items such as product codes and metro lines have also been added.

Exhibition on Vietnam-Russia friendship opens

An exhibition highlighting the 65 years of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Russia kicked off at Ton Duc Thang Museum in Ho Chi Minh City on February 12.

On display are more than 120 photos and documents presenting President Ho Chi Minh’s actions to consolidate and develop Vietnam’s

Friendship with the Soviet Union; the support of the Soviet Union in the past and Russia at present for Vietnam’s struggle for liberation and its nation-building and development process; and meetings and exchanges made by the leaders of the two countries.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Russian Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City Alexey Popov reaffirmed that over the past 65 years, the bilateral ties have been continuously consolidated with enhanced friendship and ensured mutual trust and respect.

As comprehensive strategic partners, the two countries look to enjoy further cooperation.

In 2015, Alexey Popov said that he will work to tighten the connections between Ho Chi Minh City and southern localities and Russia’s big cities in the light industry and seafood preservation.

Russia will also grant roughly 2,000 scholarships for Vietnamese students to study abroad, he added.

The exhibition will remain open until March 12.

Calligraphy exhibition opens at Temple of Literature

The annual Lunar New Year (TET) calligraphy exhibition, which has taken place for over a decade along Van Mieu Street in the Dong Da district of Hanoi, has been relocated this year to the Temple of Literature.

As part of Tet tradition, over 100 calligraphers at the exhibition will write nice words in calligraphy for customers for a nominal fee in hopes of bringing health, prosperity, good luck, promotions and good academic results in the coming year.

Along with the calligraphy writing activities, an exhibition themed “Encouraging Study” is showcasing 70 calligraphy works by famous calligraphers.

Spring press festivals held across the country

Spring press festivals are being held across the country to welcome Vietnam’s Lunar New Year and mark the 85th founding anniversary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV).

More than 800 editions of 260 newspapers are on display at the spring press festival in Ha Tinh province.

The annual festival is a meeting venue for journalists and encourages them to do better in their career. 400 gifts were presented to policy beneficiaries, poor households and disadvantaged students with excellent academic results.

The spring press festival opened in Quang Ngai province, showcasing more than 200 publications.

On the occasion, the Ha Tinh provincial Journalists Association presented certificates and cash to 43 writers and groups of writers who had outstanding work in 2014.

VNS/SGT/ND/VOV

Source: english.Vietnamnet.Vn

 

Valentine’s Day in Vietnam: Say “Anh yêu em” (I love you)

Editor’s Note: Stivi Cooke is an Australian expat living in Hoi An City in central Vietnam.

If I don’t get this right, my girlfriend is going to kill me…

Yep, that day is heading our way again. Valentine’s Day – the day you’d better get right if you have a Vietnamese girlfriend or wife. Get it wrong and she’ll turn into the most evil creature with a sweet smile you’ve ever seen. Forget all those yummy meals, back rubs and sofa cuddle moments while watching yucky romantic movies because you want her to be happy. If you blow this one, you’re going to be reminded a million ways you’ve only seen in horror movies.

My girlfriend sometimes calls me the most unromantic man on the planet. Half-true. This is said despite my efforts to remember our monthly anniversary of when we first met and buy her regular weekend hit of chocolate and indulge her passion for fine cuisine, even though I desperately needed that money for my Internet bill. I guess it must be that Vietnamese habit of saying what they think to the foreigner without thinking about it…Much.

Ah, it’s a great time. I gotta love the terrible attempts by university students sitting forlornly at a traffic roundabout with a few slightly tattered flower arrangements, trying to sell me a bunch of flowers for four times the going rate. My other favorite is the sniggers of my local shopkeeper as she informs me with a happy smile that she’s forgotten my honey’s ‘must have’ brand of chocolate and she won’t be getting more for another month (more happy smiles).

Valentine’s Day in Vietnam is rather cute if a little bit overdone sometimes. Remember all those impassioned and horribly public displays of love with candles by love-struck boys trying to catch the girls of their dreams on Facebook last year? Yuck-oh. Come on, kid, what’s wrong with good old-fashioned flowers and a sense of discretion?

Actually there’s a little park near the main drag in Hoi An where the young lovers sit and chat, daringly sitting close enough together to scandalize the traditional mums. It’s slightly dark so there’s some cuddling going on with their bikes positioned like curtains. The innocence of it all tickles me as I ride past in the late evening. At least it’s tastefully done.

Da Nang’s widespread but somewhat un-noticed trend is teenage cafes. Most of them are quite groovy and decorated in that weird jumble of clashing colors, unrelated objects and romantic kitsch that encourages teenage flirting. The menu is strictly sweet drinks and fast food. Palm trees placed for maximum privacy are a must.

If you have been here more than a few days and walked past a high school, college or university, nearby there’ll be a small ‘love trinket’ shop selling the ubiquitous stuffed pets and key rings. Love el cheapo for students on a budget! Thought I’d buy my honey a funny and slightly sentimental key ring, only to remember at the last minute that she’d probably slay me for not having made more of an effort to find something upmarket…

Still, flowers and dinner never fail to create that warm, female glow that you know will keep you in healthy hot dinners for a long time to come. But be warned, cheap stake street stalls on cold chilly nights are likely to put you in a nasty Facebook complaint to her friends the next day. Vietnam’s love affair with food fits the romance of the day like a wooden cart to an old Honda cub.

While we oldies frown on the phone chat and emoticon obsessions of young Vietnamese, the phone companies love it – they probably make more money than those times when Vietnam plays football with anyone. Still, it’s quite weird to observe boys and girls sitting across from each other in a café, glued to their phones yet grinning and giggling without looking up – they’re texting cheeky love pokes to each other!

Forget trying to teach conjunctions and adjective word order on Valentine’s Day unless you make a lesson about love idioms and sayings – you’ll have everyone, including the boys, taking notes furiously, or better yet, snapping the whiteboard notes on their smartphones. Writing exercises? Love notes and cards! Speaking practice? Whispering “I think you are the apple of my eye” – there’s an idiom for you…

All kidding aside, love in Vietnam is a beautiful, passionate, affectionate, mad affair. It’s not just romantic love either. Office girls give flowers to their best friends. Dads give them to their wives. Grandparents might sit in the garden and smile wistfully at the flowers they planted 40 years ago. Vietnamese generally don’t separate out love into categories, the western world’s great loss, but call each other ‘brother’ and ‘sister’ in a love of comradeship, friendship and valuing other people’s qualities runs deep within the culture.

It’s expressed in the giving and sharing of food, the laughs and teasing, the pushing and poking and most of all in that constant touching each other, the physical affection that bonds the people.  Even expats receive the quick touch or hug, the all powerful Vietnamese sign of deep liking and fondness which is so hard to ignore.

So remember to get it right on February 14, then again – perhaps the Vietnamese have always done Valentine’s Day right.

Source: tuoitrenews.Vn

 

2015 Co Loa Festival in pictures

VietNamNet Bridge – Co Loa Festival is held annually to commemorate and worship King An Duong Vuong Thuc Phan, the founder of Au Lac Kingdom who built Co Loa Citadel.

 

 

co loa festival

 

 

 

Taking place from the sixth to the 16th day of the Lunar New Year at An Duong Vuong temple in Dong Anh District, on the outskirts of Hanoi, Co Loa Festival is based on the legend of An Duong King of Au Lac and his magic crossbow.

According to the legend, Genius Kim Quy, a Golden Tortoise, gave Thuc Phan (An Duong Vuong) a magic crossbow which could kill tens of thousands of enemy soldiers with a shot.

However, the King’s daughter My Chau told the secret of her father's magic crossbow to her husband Trong Thuy, the son of rebel Chinese general Trieu Da, and thereby unwittingly enabled Trieu Da to conquer Co Loa in 208 B.C.

Learning of the reason for his defeat, King An Duong is said to have killed his daughter and then committed suicide. Today, in Co Loa citadel, there exist many vestiges of the episodes of the legend.

Visiting Co Loa on the sixth day of the 1st lunar month, you will have the opportunity to take part in Co Loa Festival organized by the 12 hamlets of the village. Thuc Phan An Duong Vuong was remembered for building Co Loa citadel and for ruling Au Lac for 50 years in the 3rd century B.C.

Besides the ceremonial rites in honour of King An Duong Vuong at the Upper Temple, an imposing and solemn procession of 12 palanquins circles the Trong Thuy Well to the Village gate. People also put a lot of effort into celebrating traditional activities.

On the afternoon of the 5th day of the first lunar month, all of the eight communes (including Co Loa Commune and the establishing relations between seven communes) hold the incense offering ceremony at the communal house.

At Thuong Temple, village officials and mandarins hold a similar ceremony and revise the King’s contributions and achievements. The official festival day, which is on the sixth day of the first lunar month, commences with processions of notables from surrounding villages to the King An Duong Temple where a miniature royal court containing an incense burner, a stone tablet and a funeral oration is placed in front of the two altars.

The literature procession is preceded by a flag that symbolizes the five elements (metal, wood, water, fire and earth), a musical company, and a sacrifice.

This procession featuring two sedan chairs proceeds through the 12 hamlets of Co Loa Commune. One carries a small statue of the King, the other a beheaded statue of his daughter which symbolizes her punishment. The procession then continues to the Trong Thuy Well and back to the various hamlets, accompanied by firecrackers.

Preceded by the literature procession is a sacrificial ceremony that lasts until 12 p.M. The ceremony takes place in the King's honour, accompanied by traditional music.

Next is the procession of 12 villages that takes the god from the temple to the communal house so that he can watch the festivities. This is the biggest procession with the participation of all the palanquins. When reaching the main entrance, the palanquins return to their villages. Co Loa’s procession and palanquin do the same rituals once more at the communal house.

The festival continues until the 16th day of the first lunar month, with evening fireworks displays, traditional games such as cock fighting, human chess, tug of war, card playing, wrestling, swing, rope climbing, martial arts, flag dancing and archery, in addition to performances of ca tru, cheo and tuong.

On the final day of the festival, a grand farewell ceremony will be held at the temple. After the rituals, which are the same as in the main festival day, the cult table of god will be returned to the sanctuary.

Local people enjoy the god’s favor and expect a year of prosperity and protection from the god. The festival is always closed with a thanksgiving ceremony.

Photos of this year’s festival:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vntourismguide/VNE

Nguồn: english.Vietnamnet.Vn

Link: http://english.Vietnamnet.Vn/fms/vietnam-in-photos/124474/2015-co-loa-festival-in-pictures.Html

Photos: Thousands of young men stampede to get lucky ball at festival

VietNamNet Bridge – Thousands of young men rushed to get a lucky ball, which is thought to bring prosperity to the family and village, during the Phet Hien Quan Festival on March 3. Some were injured, and others fainted.

Phet Hien Quan festival is organized on the 12th and 13th day of the first lunar month in Hien Quan commune, Tam Nong district in Phu Tho province. This is a festival to pay tribute and honor the merit of Thieu Hoa female general and princess.

It is said that Princess Thieu Hoa – Hien Quan came to Phuc Thanh pagoda when she was 16. Knowing that Trung Trac raised an army to launch a revolution, Thieu Hoa gathered a group of 500 soldiers practicing and playing the game of throwing harpoons, and they went to Hat Mon to join the army of Hai Ba Trung.

She was titled the “Dong cung tuong quan” (General of the East) to lead the army to Luy Lau and fight To Dinh. When the enemy was defeated, Trung Vuong praised the generals but Thieu Hoa did not receive the reward to be an official in the court but asked to come back to the village. Trung Vuong granted the Song Quan commune (current Hien Quan) to be the hamlet under her ruling.

A year later, Thieu Hoa passed away, and people built the temple to worship her and Trung Vuong granted her a title of “Princess supporting the nation” (Phu Quoc Cong Chua).

On the 12th and 13th of first lunar month, people organize Hoi Phet to pay tribute her merit. In Hoi Phet Hien quan, after the offering in Thieu Hoa temple, the phet (a red ball) is brought to the fixed area.

On the way, the phet is covered by the parasol and strong women surround it. Then it is put in a hole under the sand and thrown by a stake for people to rush to catch.

Hundreds of strong men try to catch it in hopes of bringing luck to the family and his village, so the competition is fierce. The festival of catching Phet in Hien Quan attracts many people.

Photos of the festival in 2015:

 

 

hien quan festival, lucky ball

hien quan festival, lucky ball

hien quan festival, lucky ball

hien quan festival, lucky ball

hien quan festival, lucky ball

hien quan festival, lucky ball

hien quan festival, lucky ball

hien quan festival, lucky ball

hien quan festival, lucky ball

hien quan festival, lucky ball

hien quan festival, lucky ball

hien quan festival, lucky ball

hien quan festival, lucky ball

hien quan festival, lucky ball

hien quan festival, lucky ball

hien quan festival, lucky ball

Ngất xỉu vì ẩu đả tại hội cướp phết
Ngất xỉu vì ẩu đả tại hội cướp phết

 

Ngất xỉu vì ẩu đả tại hội cướp phết

 

Ngất xỉu vì ẩu đả tại hội cướp phết

 

Ngất xỉu vì ẩu đả tại hội cướp phết

 

Zing/VNE

Source: english.Vietnamnet.Vn