|Beauty in bloom: A group of Sagalas smile at the Flowers of May Festival in Ha Noi yesterday. — Photo coutersy of Asian Women & Friends in Ha Noi
HA NOI (VNS) — The Asian Women & Friends in Ha Noi (AWFH) yesterday held the Flores De Mayo Santacruzan 2015 (Flower of May) festival in Ha Noi.
The event aimed to celebrate a legendary Philippine tradition, one of the most popular and colourful festivities held annually throughout the country during the merry month of May, said Bing Macatangay Arias, president of the AWFH.
"The beautiful flowers that in profound meditations during the whole month of May, are offered by the devotees to our Holy Mother, the Blessed Virgin Marry," said Arias.
"It is our desire to share this beautiful religious tradition with the Vietnamese and international community in Viet Nam, a Philippine tradition originated from the Spanish colonisation in our beloved country more than 300 years ago that has been handed down through the generations."
Addressing the event, Philippine Ambassador to Viet Nam Jerril G Santos said: "I'm truly delighted with the AWFH for organising one of the most colourful cultural and religious traditions of the Philippines. Credit goes to Bing Macatangay Arias and her colleagues for bringing this beautiful and unique display of the Philippine culture to the Vietnamese and international community in Ha Noi. I'm sure that the festivities will provide a better insight into an aspect of the Philippine culture that is rarely seen in Viet Nam."
The Santacruzan is the highlight of the Flores de Mayo festival. This historical-religious procession of beautiful Sagalas (queens) depicts the different personas from the holy book and the litany of the holy rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
It commemorates the crusade led by Queen Helena (Saint Helena), the beloved mother of Constantine the Great, in search of the true cross of Jesus Christ on Calvary.
The festival was attended by forty beautiful Sagalas from 18 different countries. They dressed in fabulous and elaborate elegant traditional and contemporary gowns.
The event was sponsored by the Philippine Embassy in Ha Noi and Ford Viet Nam.
The AWFH is an open and exclusively women's group composed of ladies from expatriate, diplomatic and local communities who are working and living in Ha Noi.
The organisation was established in 2010 and started with only 30 members, with the aim of sharing their rich and diverse cultural heritage.
Now it has 200 members from 50 different countries. — VNS