|LADY XU: Millions of visitors lock to the Bà Chúa Xứ (The Lady of the Realm) Festival held at Bà Chúa Xứ Temple in An Giang Province’s Châu Đốc in May. VNA/VNS Photo Công Mạo
AN GIANG — The Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of An Giang is seeing a strong revival in its tourism sector this year due to the recovery of cultural and tourism activities.
The province welcomed 6.7 million visitors in the first nine months of the year, equal to 146 per cent of the planned target.
Its total tourism revenue hit VNĐ4.15 trillion (US$175.5 million), reaching 138 per cent of the plan for the whole year.
According to the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the province’s strategies to relaunch traditional festivals and cultural activities played an important role in the revival and development of its tourism and attracting more tourists.
An Giang also saw a flock of visitors to the Bà Chúa Xứ (The Lady of the Realm) Festival held at Bà Chúa Xứ Temple in Châu Đốc from May 22-27 after a two-year postpone due to COVID-19.
Trần Quốc Tuấn, vice chairman of the Châu Đốc People’s Committee, said after a two-year cancellation due to the pandemic, this year’s festival attracted millions of pilgrims and visitors to worship and honour Bà Chúa Xứ.
In the southern culture, Bà Chúa Xứ represents an image of a protector of the Vietnamese border and a tutelary of prosperity and health, and has many names, including Chúa Xứ Thánh Mẫu (Holy Mother of the Realm).
The Bà Chúa Xứ Festival in Châu Đốc’s Sam Mountain is held from the 23rd to the 27th day of the fourth lunar month, with the main rituals on the 25th.
The festival was recognised as a National Intangible Heritage in 2014.
In order to preserve and promote the festival, the province’s cultural authority is preparing documents for the Bà Chúa Xứ (The Lady of the Realm) Festival in Châu Đốc to be recognised as an intangible cultural heritage by the UN cultural agency UNESCO.
|OX VS OX: The annual Bảy Núi (Seven Mountains) Ox Racing Festival returns on September 24 in Tịnh Biên District after two-year postpone due to COVID-19. VNA/VNS Photo Công Mạo
Like the Bà Chúa Xứ Festival, An Giang relaunched the annual Bảy Núi (Seven Mountains) Ox Racing Festival on September 24 in Tịnh Biên District after a two-year postpone.
The competition of 56 pairs of oxen from An Giang and Kiên Giang provinces attracted thousands of people from the province and neighbouring provinces.
The ox race is part of the Sene Dolta, one of the most important annual festivals of the Khmer community in the southwest region, to commemorate the merits of the Khmer ancestors and wishes for happiness and peace for their souls.
The Sene Dolta is held from the 29th day of the eighth lunar month until the first day of the ninth lunar month each year, falling on September 24-26 this year. It is a time for the Khmer people to pay tribute to their ancestors and take part in activities with traditional songs and dances after a year of hard work.
To celebrate Sene Dolta, An Giang also launched a series of new activities such as a hot air balloon festival and paragliding, which offered local people and tourists an opportunity to discover the Bảy Núi from the sky. — VNS