The People’s Council of Hanoi passed on Thursday a resolution stipulating fines for some administrative violations in the field of culture, including burning incense and paper offerings in inappropriate places.
The penalty for such offense is a fine ranging from VND400,000 (US$17) to VND1 million ($42.5).
The practice of burning incense and votive paper at home or in pagodas and temples, especially during festivals and religious occasions, is followed by the majority of population in Vietnam, where only around 14 percent of the people identify with a religion, according to the Vietnam population and housing census from 2019.
People believe that the paper models they burn rematerialize as real gifts for the spirits of their deceased family members and ancestors in the afterlife.
However, this act is undeniably wasteful and causes environmental pollution.
The new resolution also specifies that people who take advantage of festival organization for profit or participate in superstitious activities in fests will be fined from VND6 milllion ($255) to VND10 million ($425).
The penalty for displaying pictures or other objects with obscene, depraved content but not to the extent of criminal acts is a fine from VND10 milllion to VND20 million ($850).
People who cover activities of an obscene nature, inciting violence, or debauchery will be fined VND60 million ($2,550) to VND80 million ($3,400).
The organizer of strip dances will be charged VND80 million to VND100 million ($4,250).
Authorities will fine participants in art performances, contests, or festivals that incite violence VND50 million ($2,125) to VND60 million.
The same fine will be imposed on participants in art performances, contests, or festivals that distort history, independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity.
Those who run video game services without Internet connection at a location less than 200 meters from an elementary school, middle school, or high school will be suject to fines from VND6 million to VND10 million.