Activities to welcome New Lunar Year’s Eve

Many merry and festive activities were organized nationwide on the night of January 25 to welcome New Lunar Year’s Eve 2009

Ho Chi Minh City

Miss World 2008 Ksenia Sukhinova offers lucky money to poor children

In the evening before New Year’s Eve, thousands of people began to flock to the city center so that they could welcome the beginning of the New Year at Nguyen Hue Flower Street.

People also enjoyed a special music show featuring performances by famous local and international singers at the September 29 Park. During the show, Miss World 2008 Ksenia Sukhinova offered lucky money to many poor children.

Other cultural activities organized at the city center attracted many people. For example, thousands of small colorful light bulbs were lit on branches and trunks of trees on both sides of Le Loi and Dong Khoi Streets that turned them into streets of light.

After 12:00 a.m., people began to go to temples and pagodas to pay respect to the Buddha and pray for a happy and prosperous new year. Big or famous temples and pagodas in the city like Vinh Nghiem, Xa Loi, Tuyen Lam and Giac Vien were all crowded with people.

Ha Noi

Hanoiese spray for a happy and prosperous new year at a temple

The capital of the country welcomed New Year’s Eve in biting cold weather. Thousands of Hanoi residents flocked to Uncle Ho’s Mausoleum, Ho Tay (West Lake) Ho Guom (Sword Lake), Trang Tien Street and Lenin Park in drizzling rain to wait for the first moments of the New Year.

At the Ly Thai To Park nearby, many Hanoiese offered incense in front of the statue of Ly Thai To (974- 1028) to pay tribute to the founder of the Posterior Ly dynasty (1009-1225).

Some outdoor music shows were organized at Ba Kieu Temple and outside the Ha Noi Opera House. The shows attracted thousands of people.

On New Year’s Eve, fireworks were set off at 14 different sites including Ho Tay, My Dinh Stadium, Long Bien Bridge, Dong Anh and Soc Son Districts.

After viewing the fireworks, people in Ha Noi went to Tay Ho Temple, Tran Vu and Quan Su Pagodas and the Temple of Literature to pray for a happy and prosperous new year.

Nha Trang

Nha Trang City was gracefully decorated with hundreds of blossoming peach trees to welcome the New Year.

On the evening of the 29th day of the twelfth month of the Lunar Year 2008, the local people together with international tourists stood outside the Yasaka- Saigon – Nha Trang Hotel, waiting for the 34- meter long banh tet (a traditional cake from the South of Vietnam made from glutinous rice and rolled in banana leaves into a thick, log-like cylindrical shape, with a meat or vegetarian filling) to set the record for being the hugest cake of this kind in the country.

To make such a huge banh tet, the hotel had used 270 kilos of glutinous rice, 35 kilos of green beans, 10 kilos of black beans, 10 kilos of peanuts, 40 kilos of pork, 500 bananas, 75 kilos of coconut and 220 kilos of banana leaves. The weight of the boiled banh tet was 950 kilos.

Just before New Year’s Eve, the banh tet was sliced and sold to local people and tourists. The proceeds earned from the sale of the cake were donated to the For the Sake of the Poor Fund of Nha Trang City.

The Mekong Delta

In Can Tho City, hundreds of thousands people flocked to streets in the city center including Hoa Binh, Tran Hung Dao, the Water Park Roundabout and Ninh Kieu Wharf to welcome New Year’s Eve.

An outdoor stage was set at the Water Park Roundabout where well-known artists performed southern traditional songs.

At exactly 12:00 a.m., fireworks were set off at Ninh Kieu Wharf and the Southern Can Tho Zone.
In Soc Trang City, New Year’s Eve was welcomed by special traditional music shows featuring
particular cultural traits of the three dominant ethnicities in the region: Vietnamese, Chinese and Khmer. Fireworks were shot off in Bach Dang Park.

In Vinh Long City, fireworks were also set off for more than 15 minutes at Tien River Park.

By Staff writers – Translated by Phuong Lan

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