Calligraphy performance (Source: hanoimoi.com.vn)
In Hanoi, from January 29th to February 17th, the Spring Calligraphy Festival will be held at the Temple of Literature. Calligraphy expresses the Vietnamese people’s respect for knowledge. Before Tet, people receive calligraphic works in Vietnamese, Chinese and Han-Nom (Chinese Han and Vietnamese Nom ideographic) scripts from elderly scholars. The scripts are written on beautiful do (poohnah) paper and become symbols of good fortune. “Receiving and giving calligraphic works have become a fine tradition of the Vietnamese people,” said Le Xuan Kieu, director of the Center for Scientific and Cultural Activities of Van Mieu – Quoc Tu Giam. There are 60 booths designed as bamboo huts where scholars perform the art of writing, and children can come to enjoy traditional games and painting.

Folk games will be held at the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology (Source: CPV)
The program “Enjoying the New Year of Pig 2019: Bac Giang culture specialities” will take place at the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology on February 9th and 10h (the 5th and 6th days of the lunar New Year). The event will draw the participation of artisans from the northern province of Bac Giang. On this occasion, children will discover the cultural features of the traditional Tet holiday through a number of activities such as Chung cake making, performances of calligraphy and Dong Ho folk painting, and folk games of several ethnic groups. Artisans from the northern provinces of Hai Duong and Bac Ninh, as well as Hanoi, will take part in activities.

Neu renection in Hue city (Source: tintucvietnam.vn)
In the central city of Hue, a ceremony to plant Neu (a tall bamboo pole with red garment strips used to ward off evil spirits during the lunar New Year) was reenacted at the Hue Imperial Citadel on January 28th. At the event, a 15-metre bamboo pole was carried by a group of 10 men dressed as soldiers under the Nguyen Dynasty in a procession from the Hien Nhon Gate through the Thai Hoa Palace to arrive at the Ancestral Temple, where it was erected. The ritual was held to the sound of ‘nha nhac cung dinh’ (royal court music).  The erection of the Neu on the 23rd day of the 12th lunar month marks the beginning of Tet. It coincides with the day when the Kitchen Gods are believed to ride a carp to Heaven to report on events over the past year. 

Cultural activities in Hoi An ancient city (Source: hoianworldheritage.org.vn)
In Hoi An ancient city, the central province of Quang Nam, one of the highlights of the Tet holidays is the “Sac bua” parade through the streets with the hope of bringing good luck to everyone. There will be an artistic performance under the theme "Hoi An welcomes the year of the Pig 2019" at An Hoi statue garden. It is believed to be more attractive and interesting because Miss Vietnam 2018 Tran Tieu Vy and Japanese singers (such as Ueno Yuuka, Sone Yukie, Kawamura Yui) will take part in the event.

Also in this event, the death anniversary of Kim Bong carpenters’ founders and Kim Bong festival will occur on February 10th, 2019, with a lot of interesting activities such as carving, building and repairing boats, mat and basket making, cuisine festival, Bai Choi singing and boat racing.

In addition, a lot of interesting activities will also be held regularly on this occasion such as Spring flower market, tree planting festival, “Cau Bong” Festival in Tra Que village, photo exhibition "Hoi An Tet: former and now", popular folk games. Hopefully, these activities will be an important and significant present for all people and visitors.

In Ho Chi Minh city, leaders of the city Party Committee, People’s Council, People’s Committee and Fatherland Front laid wreaths and offered incense to pay respect to Presidents Ho Chi Minh and Ton Duc Thang at the Ho Chi Minh Museum, Ton Duc Thang Museum and Ho Chi Minh monument park on February 1st.

In District 1, a Tet exhibition on Dong Khoi street and a flower festival at Tao Dan Park run from January 30th to February 10th. Nguyen Hue flower street and Mac Thi Buoi - Nguyen Hue - Ngo Duc Ke book street will be open between February 2nd and 8th, featuring new activities and nearly 100,000 books.

The history-culture park and 24 local districts held a Banh Tet (round glutinous rice cake) festival on January 30th and 31st. Banh Tet is a traditional cake enjoyed by southern Vietnamese people on the occasion of the lunar New Year, a variant of the north’s Banh Chung (square glutinous rice cake)./.

Compiled by BTA