Tết Nguyên Tiêu (Lantern Festival) is celebrated by the Hoa ethnic group in Chợ Lớn (Big Market) in HCM City’s District 5 on the 15th day of the first lunar month. lt will receive a certificate recognising it as a national intangible cultural heritage on July 5. — VNA/VNS Photo by Mạnh Linh
HCM CITY — The Tết Nguyên Tiêu (Lantern Festival) on the 15th day of the first lunar month, celebrated by the Hoa ethnic group in Chợ Lớn (Big Market) in HCM City’s District 5, will receive a certificate recognising the festival's inclusion on the national list of intangible cultural heritage.
The certificate will be presented by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism following a proposal made by the District 5 People’s Committee last year.
The ceremony to present the certificate will be organised at the District 5 Cultural Centre before local authorities and people.
A painting exhibition of thư pháp (calligraphy), called Triển Lãm Nghệ Thuật Và Thư Pháp (Exhibition of Traditional Fines Art and thư pháp) will also be organised at the centre.
Two books on the Hoa people and its culture, titled Tự Hào Di Sản Văn Hoá (Proud Cultural Heritage) and Lễ Hội Nguyên Tiêu Của Người Hoa Ở Quận 5 (Lantern Festival of Hoa People in District 5), will also be released.
These books, in Vietnamese, Chinese and English, were written, collected and edited by famous cultural researchers and historians.
To celebrate the event, a series of traditional art shows, featuring professional and amateur performers of city theaters and art troupes, was held on the streets of District 5 in May and June.
"Tết Nguyên Tiêu is a traditional festival and celebrated every year by the Hoa people in District 5," said Châu Gia Phú, a resident of District 5.
"The event features various outdoor celebrations from the 12th to 18th day of the first lunar month, such as traditional Chinese music and theatre performances, dragon dances, martial art performances, lighting of lanterns, and exhibitions of thư pháp and thuỷ mặc (ink and wash) painting."
According to Phú, as tradition, a street parade and street art performances take place on the 15th day, the first Full Moon day of the New Year, the main day of the festival.
"During the festival, several thousand locals and visitors flock to pagodas and temples to pray for good fortune, safety and happiness," he said.
This year, District 5’s People’s Committee cancelled the festival celebrations in February due to the spread of the new coronavirus.
The city’s Hoa community, numbering about 500,000, owns more than 1,500 businesses, around 20 per cent of the city’s total private enterprises.
Most of their businesses are located in District 5, 6, and 11, where they contribute about half of the private sector’s total output.
Their products under brandnames such as Bitis and Bitas’ footwear, Tuyền Ký foods, Thái Tuấn fabrics and Vĩnh Tiến notebooks are familiar to customers across the country.
The city has 23 primary and junior high schools where the Chinese language is taught to more than 12,500 students.
The Hoa make up 35 per cent of the population in District 5, according to the district’s People’s Committe. They have nearly 100 art and cultural organisations which play a role in developing the community.
Last year, Tết Nguyên Tiêu attracted more than 30,000 foreign and domestic vistors.— VNS