HÀ NỘI — After a three-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, festivals are back in many cities and provinces across the country, attracting thousands of tourists.
Côn Sơn - Kiếp Bạc Spring Festival
Taking place in Chí Linh City in the northern province of Hải Dương, the festival this year featured both ceremonial rituals and festive activities.
The rituals include a Holy Water Procession, a rite of heaven on top of the Ngũ Nhạc Mountain, the 689th death anniversary of the Tổ Trúc Lâm Huyền Quang Tôn Giả III (1334 - 2023) – one of the founders of the Trúc Lâm Zen Buddhist school in Việt Nam, and the mông sơn thí thực to comfort and present offerings for ghosts.
The festival will also feature several festive activities, including a contest on making bánh chưng (square sticky rice cake) and bánh dầy (round sticky rice cake), a procession to offer bánh chưng and bánh giầy to the grand altar, and a competition on making clay crackers.
Festival-goers can enjoy folk games such as wrestling and human chess, or art performances featuring different kinds of traditional music genres – chèo (popular opera), ca trù (ceremonial singing), chầu văn (ritual songs), and quan họ (love duet) at the event.
|An overview of the Holy Water Procession at the Côn Sơn - Kiếp Bạc Spring Festival. — Photo baohaiduong.vn|
The festival’s agenda also features the ‘Week of Culture, Tourism and Trade Promotion’ to promote Hải Dương Province’s famous agricultural products and tourism potential.
On January 31, a cáo yết ritual was held aiming to report to Heaven and Earth genies and ask for their permission to organise the festival.
According to the festival’s organisers, the festival not only conveys cultural and religious values, but also fully reflects the distinctiveness of Vietnamese people’s beliefs.
“Alongside the preservation of traditional cultural values, the festival also aims to raise public awareness on maintaining and promoting national cultural heritage,” said the Head of the festival’s organisation board, deputy chairman of the Hải Dương Province People’s Committee Nguyễn Minh Hùng.
The Côn Sơn - Kiếp Bạc Spring Festival will close on February 13.
Cam Lâm Village Cầu Ngư Festival
Lost for decades, the century-old Cam Lâm Village Cầu Ngư Festival was revived on Sunday at the Cam Lâm fishing village in Xuân Liên Commune, Nghi Xuân District in central Hà Tĩnh Province.
Aiming to pray for a new year with safe sailing, good luck, and bumper fish catches, the festival started with a ceremony at the village’s Đông Hải Temple, which worships whales – the giant fish that is believed to help fishermen at sea, followed by a ceremonial procession carrying palanquin of Fish Genie from the temple to the sea.
|Fishermen carry a palanquin of the Fish Genie during a ceremonial procession at the Cam Lâm Village Cầu Ngư Festival. — Photo laodong.vn|
Alongside ceremonial rituals, the Cầu Ngư Festival also featured lion dances, folk games, art performances featuring Nghệ Tĩnh ví, dặm traditional tunes that were recognised by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Local fishermen also joined in several traditional sports games including boat racing, martial arts, walking on stilts, and tug of war.
Nguyễn Đức Đan, member of the festival’s organisation board, said that the festival has expressed the local fishermen’s wishes for smooth sailing and bumper catches.
“The event also an opportunity to encourage fishermen to actively catch seafood, developing the local economy, at the same time protecting the sovereignty of the sea and islands,” he said.
Festival dedicated to Central Highlands brocade
A festival dedicated to the brocade weaved by ethnic groups living in the Central Highlands region is taking place in Kon Tum City.
The festival aims to honour the region’s cultural identity and to create an opportunity for weaving artisans to learn from each other and to exchange their experiences, thus contributing to local community-based tourism.
|An artisan demonstrates brocade weaving at a festival dedicated to brocade in Kon Tum City. — Photo baochinhphu.vn|
According to vice chairman of Kon Tum City People's Committee, Phan Ngọc Định, in order to develop community-based tourism, it’s very important to preserve the traditional crafts of ethnic people. In particular, brocade weaving is a craft of ethnic minority groups in the Central Highlands region, including Kon Tum Province, that has been passed down the generations.
“Brocade weaving not only creates the beauty of traditional costumes, but also presents the unique cultural identity of each ethnic group in the Central Highlands region. Through the skillful hands of artisans, every brocade cloth is an artwork featuring opulent patterns, which depict different images of life and the community’s vitality,” Định said.
Visiting the festival for the first time, Polish tourist Marcin Moczulski was impressed by the brocade weaved by ethnic people in Central Highlands region.
“The pattern on the brocade of the Ba Na people are very unique that is unlike any other brocade patterns that I’ve seen before. Especially, visiting the festival, I’ve the chance to see weavers working on their loom to create unique brocade cloth,” he said. — VNS