Festivals welcome Lunar New Year
Update: Feb 06, 2014
People across the country are enjoying spring festivals, during which they wish for peace, good weather, happiness and prosperity for all.

A big crowd of pilgrims rushed to the Bai Dinh pagoda festival on February 5 in Gia Vien district of the northern province of Ninh Binh.

The launch of the festival, which will last throughout the spring, was attended by Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

The 1,000 year-old Bai Dinh pagoda (Bai Dinh Co Tu) is located on Bai Dinh Mountain, nearly 200m above sea level. Bai Dinh Co Tu lies about 800m from the Tam The temple of the new Bai Dinh pagoda area.

The ancient pagoda area is composed of temples worshipping Buddha, the Mountain God, and the Mother Goddess of the Forest.

The pagoda was recognised by the Department of Culture and Information under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism as a national historic-cultural relic site in 1997.

Bai Dinh Pagoda is famous for holding several records, including the biggest bronze statue of Buddha in Southeast Asia, the biggest bronze bell in Vietnam, the nation’s largest pagoda area and the greatest number of Bodhi trees in the country.

On the festival days, the central province of Thua Thien-Hue is hectic with various spring festivals.

The traditional wrestling festival of Thu Le village in Quang Dien district opened on February 5, attracting thousands of local people and visitors.

Fishermen in other districts such as Phu Loc, Phong Dien and Phu Vang are also busy with the Cau Ngu festival, during which they pray for a bumper fishing harvest.

Meanwhile, The Long Tong (going to the field) festival of the Tay ethnic group in the northern mountainous province of Ha Giang got underway on February 4.

During the two-day festival, ethnic people offered trays of local specialities to gods to thank them for bumper crops and ask for their blessings so local people can enjoy a comfortable and happy time in the New Year.

Within the framework of the event, there was a range of cultural and sporting activities such as Then and Coi signing, “con” (cloth ball) throwing and tug-of-war.

Other visitors went to the Co Loa temple festival in Hanoi’s outskirts district of Dong Anh to gain a better understanding of Vietnam under the reign of King An Duong.

Meanwhile, the Muong ethnic minorities in Tan Son district, the northern province of Phu Tho, are praying for favourable weather conditions and a bumper harvest through the Tet Doi festival.