An erecting ceremony of cây nêu (bamboo pole) on Friday to start the new year celebration at Thăng Long Royal Citadel. — VNS Photo Minh Thu
HÀ NỘI — Thăng Long Royal Citadel will be decorated brilliantly to celebrate Tết (Lunar New Year) with flowers, lanterns, conical hats and calligraphic works as a spring festival will run from today until February 2.
Tống Cựu Nghênh Tân (Farewell to Old Things and Welcome the New Things) festival kicked off on Friday with an incense offering ceremony and the Land Genie and Kitchen Gods ceremony, in which people released carp into a part of the ancient river found at the Royal Citadel.
Cây nêu (a tall bamboo pole with offerings and objects to pray for good fortune and eliminate evil) was erected to begin the celebrations.
“The festival with various programmes will inform young people and tourists about the fine tradition and culture of the Vietnamese people,” said Trần Việt Anh, director of the Thăng Long – Hà Nội Heritage Conservation Centre.
An exhibition space about Tết in the old days and how Tết was celebrated in the royal palace will be on show, with displays about rituals and customs such as asking for calligraphy characters and writing on the first day of spring.
Visitors will see the demonstration of the distillation of flower-scented wine presented to the royal court, the making of folk paintings for Tết, a stall displaying commodities of Tết during the subsidy era and the origami art of folding zodiac animals.
Attendees will have opportunities to see tò he (toy figurines) making, bánh chưng (square glutinous rice cake) making and folk games.
The festival will also introduce traditional handicrafts and art forms like ca trù (ceremonial singing), chầu văn (ritual singing), hát xẩm (blind busker singing) and water puppetry. — VNS