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Vietnam recognizes First Full Moon Festival as national intangible cultural heritage

Saturday, February 08, 2020, 10:48 GMT+7
Vietnam recognizes First Full Moon Festival as national intangible cultural heritage
A parade at the First Full Moon Festival, or Tet Nguyen Tieu, on a street in District 5, Ho Chi Minh City.

The Vietnamese Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has recognized the First Full Moon Festival, or Tet Nguyen Tieu, which falls on the 15th day of the first lunar month, as a national intangible cultural heritage. 

Originating in China, Tet Nguyen Tieu has been adapted to Vietnam’s culture and is widely celebrated by Chinese descents living in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 5, home to one of the country's largest Chinese Vietnamese community.

This lunar year’s first full moon falls on Saturday, February 8.

On Friday, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism approved a submission that sought the recognition of Tet Nguyen Tieu as a national intangible cultural heritage.

The heritage submission was lodged by a consulting team that includes Dinh Van Hanh, director of the Vietnam National Institute of Culture and Arts Studies (VICAS) in Ho Chi Minh City.

Hanh told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that the first full moon is regarded by the Chinese Vietnamese community as the most important among all full moons throughout the lunar year.

Dinh Van Hanh, director of the Vietnam National Institute of Culture and Arts Studies (VICAS) in Ho Chi Minh City
Dinh Van Hanh, director of the Vietnam National Institute of Culture and Arts Studies (VICAS) in Ho Chi Minh City

Chinese descents in District 5 celebrate the festival from the tenth day until the end of the first lunar month.

The highlights of the celebration include parades and street performances from the 12th until the18th day of the lunar month.

The festive event also features various other activities such as performances of traditional Chinese opera, lion dance, martial arts, and mandala making, calligraphy, and street art.

 Mandalas are used as an instrument of meditation and a symbol of prayer in Buddhist cultures

In addition to going to the pagoda to pray for peace and good fortune, people often gather on popular streets, including Hai Thuong Lan Ong, Chau Van Liem, Trang Tu, Nguyen Trai and Tran Hung Dao, to take part in these cultural and spiritual activities.

According to the Division of Culture and Information in District 5, about 10,000 domestic and international tourists have visited the festival four days before the prime day of the event, while 30,000 visitors are expected to flock to the neighboring District 6, District 10, District 11, and District 8, which also house a large number of Chinese descents.

Below are some file photos of the previous celebrations of Tet Nguyen Tieu held in District 5, Ho Chi Minh City.

A man and a woman crawl under a horse statue to perform a ritual at the First Full Moon Festival, or Tet Nguyen Tieu at Nghia An Pagoda in District 5, Ho Chi Minh City
A man and a woman crawl under a horse statue to perform a ritual at the First Full Moon Festival, or Tet Nguyen Tieu, at Nghia An Pagoda in District 5, Ho Chi Minh City
People perform a lion dance at the First Full Moon Festival, or Tet Nguyen Tieu on a street in District 5, Ho Chi Minh City
People perform a lion dance at the First Full Moon Festival, or Tet Nguyen Tieu, on a street in District 5, Ho Chi Minh City.
People light incense at the First Full Moon Festival, or Tet Nguyen Tieu at a pagoda in District 5, Ho Chi Minh City
People light incense at the First Full Moon Festival, or Tet Nguyen Tieu, at a pagoda in District 5, Ho Chi Minh City.
A parade at the First Full Moon Festival, or Tet Nguyen Tieu on a street in District 5, Ho Chi Minh City
A parade at the First Full Moon Festival, or Tet Nguyen Tieu, on a street in District 5, Ho Chi Minh City.
People perform a dragon dance at the First Full Moon Festival, or Tet Nguyen Tieu on a street in District 5, Ho Chi Minh City
People perform a dragon dance at the First Full Moon Festival, or Tet Nguyen Tieu, on a street in District 5, Ho Chi Minh City.
People dress up as three Gods Fu Lu Shou at the First Full Moon Festival, or Tet Nguyen Tieu at Nghia An Pagoda in District 5, Ho Chi Minh City
People dress up as three Chinese deities Fu, Lu, and Shou at the First Full Moon Festival, or Tet Nguyen Tieu, at Nghia An Pagoda in District 5, Ho Chi Minh City.
A parade at the First Full Moon Festival, or Tet Nguyen Tieu on a street in District 5, Ho Chi Minh City
A parade at the First Full Moon Festival, or Tet Nguyen Tieu, on a street in District 5, Ho Chi Minh City.

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