Friday, 08/04/2011 09:19

Ancient Hoa Lu festival opens

NINH BINH – Hoa Lu Festival, the largest and most spectacular in the northern province of Ninh Binh, opens today.

Among the highlights of the festival will be a water-carrying procession from the Hoang Long River to the King Dinh and King Le temples at 5.30am, a requiem, displays of coloured lanterns and flower garlands, a calligraphy competition and sporting activities.

Organisers also plan to release 1043 balloons (symbolising 1,043 years since King Dinh Tien Hoang came to the throne).

For the first time, a temple gate-opening ceremony was held yesterday during which gods and goddesses were asked permission to open the festival.

Hoa Lu was the first capital of Viet Nam (968 to 1010). The festival serves to honour the achievements of the Ly (544-602), Leâ (980-1009) and Dinh (968-1010) dynasties.

The festival ends next Tuesday.

Tourism Day opens in HCM City

HCM CITY — The HCM City Tourism Day opened yesterday at the city's September 23 Park with participation of 80 companies that offer various services in the sector, including travel agencies and tour operators.

The four-day annual event will include a travel exhibition, food festival, a photo exhibition and a concert.

Participating companies are marking the event with many promotions and discount programmes.

The companies said they would offer 5 to 10 per cent discounts for domestic tours and US$10 rebates plus gifts on each overseas tour. Festival Travel will discount US package tour prices by $120 while TST Tourist will organise lucky draws for both domestic and overseas tours with prizes worth a total of VND2 billion ($95,000).

Comedian's temple honours artists

HCM CITY – Comedian Hoai Linh is set to spend his own money to build To Dinh, a temple in HCM City in honour of artists who contributed to preserving and developing cai luong (reformed theatre).

The temple is being built on a 1ha site Linh bought in Nha Be District, and will honour several early artists who shaped cai luong in the 1920's and 1930's.

On display here will be mementos and photographs of many artists.

Tan Beo, a cai luong artist and son of renowned artist Tan Tai, will donate to the temple costumes that his father wore in popular plays.

"Construction of To Dinh, which will be completed next year, is estimated to cost VND3 billion (US$142,800)," Linh said.

He used the money he earned in the last 15 years to build the temple "to express his gratitude to audiences and to life", the 41-year-old said.

Linh lives in the US but returns often to Viet Nam, and his performances are hugely popular in both countries.

Festival celebrates reading culture

HA NOI — Viet Nam Reading Festival will be held for the first time to celebrate reading culture, introduce good books and connect book lovers.

Under the title Reading Books for the Future, the festival will take place at the Temple of Literature in Ha Noi on April 23 to celebrate the World Book and Copyright Day.

The Thai Ha Books Company, Ha The Communications Company and Family's Bookcase Company will all be taking part in the event, which is free of charge, according to Nguyen Thi Thanh Mai, head of the Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism's Library Department.

At the event, a seminar on reading culture and high-speed reading skills will take place, along with an illustrating contest and a competition to "read and write about a book you like".

The organisers will donate around 5,000 books to local libraries.

Mai said everyone was welcome, and the organisers were hoping for a high student turnout at the festival, which the department plans to hold annually. — VNS

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