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Updated Jan 19, 2011
HCMC to hold Lunar New Year Festival
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The HCMC People’s Committee has assigned local tour company Saigontourist Holding Company and other administrative agencies to organise the Tet Tan Mao (Lunar New Year of the Cat) Festival in the city’s downtown.

Since the first time it was held in 2004, Tet Giap Than (Lunar New Year of the Monkey), the Nguyen Hue Flower Street and the related Banh Tet (cylindrical glutinous rice cake) Festival has been a hit with residents and tourists in HCMC.

The event has become one of the city's unique cultural offerings, and is welcomed by both local and overseas Vietnamese.

It also offers a great sightseeing opportunity for tourists coming to HCMC during the Tet holiday.

Tet Tan Mao holiday is going to be bigger and better than ever with lots of interesting activities: Nguyen Hue Flower Street and Banh Tet Festival, fireworks, special lighting, snapshots of New Year, The Face of Tet decoration contest and door shows.

The eighth Nguyen Hue Flower Street will be held from January 31 until February 6 (December 28 – January 4 on the lunar calendar) and will be hosted in the area along Nguyen Hue Boulevard from City Hall to the Sai Gon River.

It will be closed to traffic for the holiday week.

In addition, the nearby Le Loi Street from Quach Thi Trang Square to the Municipal Theatre will be open for pedestrians from 6-11pm on February 6.

This year's Flower Street is titled New Heights as the city strives for higher achievements in economy, politics and society.

The street will be divided into several smaller parts decorated in different spring themes: Hon Viet (Viet Nam's Soul), Tet Phuong Nam (Southern Tet), Noi Vong Tay Lon (Circle of Unity), Tam Cao Moi (New Height), and Xuan An Vui (Happy and Peaceful Spring).

The entire street will be especially colourful, illuminated by a myriad colour.

Attractions will include flower arrangements, a wishing pond to collect money for charity, coffee stalls, folk music and games.

The Banh Tet Festival from January 26 to 31 is jointly organised by all the city's 24 districts.

Activities will include a banh tet cooking contest and a 10,000 banh tet gift programme for disadvantaged children and alms houses in the city, organised by Saigontourist in co-operation with the HCM City Department of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs, and Dam Sen Cultural Park.

The fireworks displays on Lunar New Year's Eve (February 2) will take place at eight places around the city while Le Loi and Dong Khoi streets will be decorated with hundreds of lights from January 26 to February 14.

Saigontourist will also hold the The Face of Tet decoration contest and door shows, and a series of performances including lion dances, folk music, and drumming at the Caravelle, Rex, Majestic, Grand, Continental, Kim Do, Oscar, Bong Sen and Palace hotels from January 31 to February 6.

(Source: VNS)


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