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Hanoi residents fill streets celebrating Mid-Autumn Festival amid COVID-19

Hanoi residents fill streets celebrating Mid-Autumn Festival amid COVID-19

Wednesday, September 22, 2021, 11:24 GMT+7
Hanoi residents fill streets celebrating Mid-Autumn Festival amid COVID-19
A sea of people and vehicles throng Hang Bai Street in Hanoi to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival on September 21, 2021. Photo: Pham Tuan / Tuoi Tre

A sea of people and vehicles crowded the streets in downtown Hanoi to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival on Tuesday evening, the first day after social distancing regulations were relaxed in the capital city.

The Mid-Autumn Festival is observed in some Asian countries including Vietnam, China, and South Korea on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month every year.

This year’s festival fell on Tuesday while many cities and provinces in Vietnam, including Hanoi, were still in the grip of strict social distancing measures for the COVID-19 fight.

However, as Hanoi had switched to the less stringent Directive No. 15 right before the festival night, with travel passes no longer required, people thronged to the city’s central area just like any other year.

Streets leading to Hoan Kiem Lake and the Old Quarter, the spotlight of the festival, became jammed, with vehicles moving at a snail’s pace, from early Tuesday evening.

A sea of people and vehicles throng the streets in downtown Hanoi to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival on September 21, 2021. Photo: Pham Tuan / Tuoi Tre

A sea of people and vehicles throng the streets in downtown Hanoi to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival on September 21, 2021. Photo: Pham Tuan / Tuoi Tre

Hang Ma Street, where many stores selling lanterns and toys are located, was so overcrowded that local authorities decided to seal it off to limit the number of festival-goers from around 7:30 pm on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, congestion happened on Hang Bai Street.

“The streets are packed with people today,” said Do Kieu Anh, a local resident.

“Today is the Mid-Autumn Day, so I want to go out with my family for a festive atmosphere after staying home for two months.

“Because the pandemic is still complicated, I don’t stay anywhere for too long.”

A city of eight million people, Hanoi recorded 12 local COVID-19 infections on Tuesday, raising its caseload since a new wave of transmissions hit Vietnam on April 27 to 4,178, including 45 deaths.

Health workers have administered more than 5.7 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to the city’s population, over 747,000 of whom have been fully inoculated, according to the national COVID-19 vaccination portal.

A sea of people and vehicles throng the streets in downtown Hanoi to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival on September 21, 2021. Photo: Pham Tuan / Tuoi Tre

People and vehicles throng the streets in downtown Hanoi to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival on September 21, 2021. Photo: Pham Tuan / Tuoi Tre

People ride motorbikes to downtown Hanoi to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival on September 21, 2021. Photo: Pham Tuan / Tuoi Tre

People ride motorbikes to downtown Hanoi to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival on September 21, 2021. Photo: Pham Tuan / Tuoi Tre

People ride motorbikes to downtown Hanoi to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival on September 21, 2021. Photo: Pham Tuan / Tuoi Tre

People ride motorbikes to downtown Hanoi to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival on September 21, 2021. Photo: Pham Tuan / Tuoi Tre
A sea of people and vehicles throng the streets in downtown Hanoi to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival on September 21, 2021. Photo: Pham Tuan / Tuoi Tre
A sea of people and vehicles throng the streets in downtown Hanoi to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival on September 21, 2021. Photo: Pham Tuan / Tuoi Tre

People purchase lanterns on Hang Ma Street in Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi, September 21, 2021. Photo: Pham Tuan / Tuoi Tre

People purchase lanterns on Hang Ma Street in Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi, September 21, 2021. Photo: Pham Tuan / Tuoi Tre

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