|Ancient space: Kim Ngân Communal House in Hàng Bạc Street. — VNS Photo Trương Vị|
HÀ NỘI — A series of cultural activities have been organised at historic relics and cultural spaces in downtown Hà Nội’s Old Quarter featuring ancient Vietnamese customs for the Lunar New Year.
|Hotcakes: Tourists try making bánh chưng at the Ancient House in Mã Mây Street. — VNS Photo Lê Hương|
At Kim Ngân Communal House, No 42 and 44 Hàng Bạc Street, visitors can experience traditional decorations for public spaces at a common gathering house and offerings to the village god of various local delicacies like bánh cốm (cake made from sweetened green young rice bean and coconut) and bánh chưng (sticky rice square cake).
|Artisans: Ancient paintings on dó (poonah) paper at Kim Ngân Communal House on Hàng Bạc Street. — VNS Photo Trương Vị|
Calligraphy artists at the site are offering tourists letters to bring home.
Just a few minutes’ walk from the House, at Ancient House No 87 Mã Mây Street, images and objects of ancient Tết (Lunar New Year) customs are displayed.
|Family altar: Tourists look at an altar in the Ancient House in Mã Mây Street. — VNS Photo Lê Hương|
Tourists can see the traditional meals Vietnamese people offer to their ancestors, participate in collecting bonsai, enjoy tea and join in the making of bánh chưng.
“We celebrate Chinese New Year at the same time in Singapore,” Cynthia Wong, a tourist from Singapore told Việt Nam News after touring the Ancient House on Mã Mây Street. “But here I still find something different. Beautiful cherry blossoms are used here to decorate the house. We don’t have that. And also I found here a lot of ancient feelings.”
|Sacred: Western tourists exploring the worship space at Kim Ngân Communal House. — VNS Photo Lê Hương|
Another highlight is an exhibition of paintings on dó (poonah) paper made in Dương Ổ Village in the northern province of Bắc Ninh and ceramic art works from Hương Canh Village in the northern province of Vĩnh Phúc at the Old Quarter Culture Exchange Centre, 50 Đào Duy Từ Street.
|Brushstroke: A foreign boy tries calligraphy at Kim Ngân Communal House. — VNS Photo Lê Hương|
The exhibition opened on January 25 and will host researchers and collectors who will share their knowledge of dó paper.
Artisan Giang Thị Nhạn from Hương Canh Village will make ceramic objects by hand at the site.
|Ready to bloom: People trim thủy tiên bulbs to nurture flowers, which will bloom at Tết, at the Ancient House on Mã Mây Street. — VNS Photo Hồng Vân|
Not far from there, at the Heritage Information of the Old Quarter at 28 Hàng Buồm Street, three ancient genres of paintings – Đông Hồ (from Bắc Ninh Province), Kim Hoàng and Hàng Trống (Hà Nội) – will be on display.
|Offering: A traditional meal offered to the ancestors on display at Kim Ngân Communal House. — VNS Photo Hồng Vân|
Phùng Hưng mural street, Hàng Mã Street and the flower market on Hàng Lược Street will create a relaxing pedestrian area for locals and tourists to buy traditional foods, decorations and flowers for Tết.
The programme will run untill February 24. — VNS