|St Joseph’s Cathedral in Hà Nội. Photo: vov.vn|Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Hà Nội’s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism has proposed that churches and pagodas in the city ring their bells to awaken people and mark the start of the New Year.
Tô Văn Động, director of the department, said this year, Hà Nội will skip the traditional firework displays to welcome the Lunar New Year Festival and instead allocate the money to help disadvantaged and poor people in the city.
As planned, the city will organise many cultural activities and art performances for the people in the downtown area, such as Lý Thái Tổ Garden and Mỹ Đình Stadium, and in public areas in Hà Đông, Tây Hồ districts and Sơn Tây Town on New Year’s Eve.
In reply to questions on the amount of money saved from the stopping of the firework display, Động said he was not aware.
He said the money for the performances normally came from the private sector instead of the State budget. The money was then transferred to the city’s command for the performance.
The country’s sole licensed firework supplier is Z121, a chemical company under the management of the Ministry of Defence.
Last month, Hà Nội, Đà Nẵng and HCM City all announced they were skipping the traditional fireworks display on New Year’s Eve. Bình Định Province also said it would use its fireworks fund to help victims of last year’s record floods.
Last Tết, Hà Nội held fireworks displays at 31 places -- six places with high-range performances and 25 places with lower-range performances, with total cost at some VNĐ10 billion (US$440,000).
The government has declared a seven-day holiday for Tết, from January 26 to February 1. — VNS