Viet Nam News
NINH BÌNH — It seemed as if the whole of Ninh Bình was there. All staring into the skies cheering and gasping at the fireworks high above.
Thousands of people descended on the Hoa Lư Relic on Tuesday night for the opening ceremony of a festival to mark the 1050 anniversary of the former capital of Hoa Lư (now Hoa Lư District, Ninh Bình Province).
|Fireworks light up the night sky on Tuesday. — VNS Photo Paul Kennedy|
Earlier around 500 artists performed on stage in front of General Secretary of the Communist Party of Việt Nam Nguyễn Phú Trọng, deputy Prime Ministers Trương Hòa Bình and Hoàng Trung Hải, and other government officials.
Held every year, this is an opportunity for the locals to pay tribute to King Đinh Tiên Hoàng (924-979) who set up the first centralised feudal state in Việt Nam and set Hoa Lư as capital.
It’s because of the region’s rich history, that this event is so special.
A performance at the opening ceremony — VNA/VNS Photo
"This was a crucial landmark in the history of Việt Nam," said Nguyễn Thị Thanh, Secretary of Ninh Bình Party Committee at the event.
She added that over the past years, Ninh Bình has developed in various fields including economy, health, education and especially tourism. Local tourism has enjoyed a new chapter since Tràng An was recognised as world heritage in 2014. Last year, the province welcomed more than seven million tourists.
Temples and historical relics in Hoa Lư are crowded with thousands of revellers. — VNA/VNS Photo
The four day festival opened early Tuesday morning with a water procession ritual.
This is to pray for peace and happiness for the people.
There was also an incense offering to pay tribute to the kings.
The rest of the festival will see a wide range of activities including a boat race, human chess, water puppetry and wrestling.
A wide range of activities, including a boat race, human chess, water puppetry and wrestling, promises to add fun and joy to the festival. — VNS Photo Paul Kennedy
Through a number of exhibitions, visitors also have chance to have a glimpse of the former capital of Hoa Lư and Ninh Bình Province nowadays.
Hoa Lư is now a popular destination with both historical and cultural sites including palaces and temples dedicated to Đinh and Lê kings. — VNS