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 Cultural Tet fete for tourists

     Ba Ria-Vung Tau (VNA) - A cultural tourism festival welcoming the Lunar New Year will be organised in the southern coastal province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau between January 22 and February 2, 2009.

     It will introduce tourism, history, tradition and culture via various activities, according to Ho Van Nien, vice chairman of the provincial People’s Committee.
     The festival will be opened by a ceremony held at the Imperial Hotel, the first five-star hotel in the province, on January 26, 2009, the first day of the lunar calendar. It will include a comedy performance and dragon dance. The organising board will give presents to visitors.
     A performance themed Loc An - Legend of Ships held on January 30 by Dat Do district’s local government in cooperation with Xuyen Moc district will be the highlight of the festival. The ceremony commemorates 150 years of resistance by locals against invaders, focusing on the 45 years that legendary ships without number plates transported weapons and goods for the battlefield.
     Whenever the troops sailed forth, nearly one tonne of explosives were set on the ships; if they were discovered and attacked, they would destroy the ship to keep the resistance’s secrets, according to veteran Tran Phong, who served on these ships.
     A cannon launching ceremony held to recall sacrifices of soldiers and sailors of non-number plated ships will be broadcast live on Vietnam Television. On the same day, Dat Do district’s authorities will hold the “banh tet” festival (cylindrical glutinous rice cake filled with green bean and pork) introducing the specialities of the region. To greet the new year, 2,009 “banh tet” weighing 5,000kg will be displayed, setting a new Vietnamese Guinness record.
     This year, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism will host a ceremony commemorating Nguyen Thi Ria (1665-1759), the founder of the province, on February 1 in Long Hai town’s Long Dien district.
     Ria reclaimed virgin land and founded many districts in Ba Ria-Vung Tau province. She organised people to build bridges and roads. When she died at the age of 94 without any heirs, she left her fortune to the poor.
     Societe dus Etudes Indochinoises and Ecole Francaise d’Extreme Orient have done many studies on her and her links with the province.
     In the past, the People’s Committee restored her grave and erected a statue of her at the foot of Dinh Co Mountain.
     During the festival, tourists can join many traditional folk games including tug of war, kite-flying, coracle racing and human chess. They can also enter sports competitions in football and volleyball.
     There will be various performances including lion and dragon dances, and dummy airplane performances.
     With the aim of popularising the local traditional culture, the organising board will open exhibitions on calligraphy and photography.
     On the occasion, many farm trips will be launched bringing tourists a chance to understand nature and human life in the province.

Source: VNA - Vietnam Tourism

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