Traditional festival to welcome in Tet
Traditional Tet rituals will be showcased from today to February 15 at the Ministry of Culture spring festival in Ha Noi.
A recreated ethnic minority market from the northern province of Lao Cai features unique specialities such as green tea, rice wine, thang co (horse or beef meat, bones and tripe cooked together), men men (steamed ground maize) and xoi ngu sac (five-colour glutinous rice).
Ethnic minority people trade in bamboo cottages as they do in their villages. Artisans demonstrate their skill in trades like embroidery, weaving, carving and making wine.
Visitors can join folk games such as nem con (throwing a ball through a hoop) and playing khen (bamboo pipe).
The exhibition area features traditional rituals carried out during Tet, including a replica of Vietnamese people's altars to worship their ancestors. To celebrate Tet, people clean the incense burner and decorate the altar with various offerings. Praying in front of the altar is a way of inviting their ancestors to enjoy Tet with them.
Vietnamese people have a custom of displaying folk paintings on the occasion of spring to celebrate the new year and decorate their houses. Three popular genres of paintings will be displayed: Hang Trong, Kim Hoang (Ha Noi) and Dong Ho (Bac Ninh).
Paintings of goats by artists Le Tri Dung and Trang Thanh Hien refer to the fact that this is the year of the goat. A calligraphic performance will also take place.
The spring festival will be held at the Viet Nam Culture and Arts Exhibition Centre (2 Hoa Lu Street, Ha Noi).
Hotels open markets
The Metropole Hotel in Ha Noi will hold a traditional Tet market from February 6-8 (4-8pm) to help travellers experience local Vietnamese culture.
Bamboo stalls will sell food, fresh products, handicrafts, calligraphy and colourful paintings from Dong Ho Village.
Banh chung (square sticky rice) and spring roll making contests, a to he (a traditional toy made from coloured dough) making contest and a drawing competition will take place. Visitors can also enjoy pho and have their portraits painted by a Vietnamese artist.
The same market will be opened to tourists at the Furama Resort in the central city of Da Nang from February 13-14. The market will offer banh chung, salted vegetables, calligraphy, local cuisine and folk games. Tourists can also make banh chungthemselves at a pavilion in the market. — VNS
Source: vietnamnews.vn (Feb. 6, 2015)