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Ancient town’s full moon festival named intangible heritage

The annual Nguyên Tiêu Festival on the 15th of lunar January in Hội An has been recognised as a National Intangible Heritage by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
A woman prepares an offering on the annual Nguyên Tiêu Festival in Hội An. The festival was recognised as a National Intangible heritage. — VNS Photo Công Thành

The festival celebrates the full moon of the first lunar month of the year.

The city’s Centre for Cultural Heritage Management and Preservation confirmed the certificate was handed over on February 5, marking the fifth national intangible heritage after Thanh Châu bird's nest, Thanh Hà Pottery village, carpentry of Kim Bồng village and Trà Quế vegetable garden.

The centre said the festival was a major event in a series of cultural and ritual activities among local people held during the first lunar month.

Local people often prepare for the festival from the seventh day of the month with ancestor worship and praying for peace at the communal houses of Cẩm Phô, Ông Voi, Japanese Bridge, Ông and Bà Pagoda and Minh Hương commune house, as well as the Fujian and Jiao Zhou clubs.

A night parade will take place in the Old Quarter with lanterns and a poet recital at Cẩm Phô communal house as well as folk games at Kazik Park on February 4-6.

Vegetarian food, rice, salt, wine, fruits, votive ancestral tablets and paper are used to worship on the full moon of the first lunar month in Hôi An. It's the biggest event of the year. — VNS Photo Công Thành

Pagodas and communal houses will be open on two days and nights of the 15 and 16 lunar days of January (which fall on February 5-6 this year).

The annual festival – the most important spiritual event of the year – is an attraction to the locals and tourists with candlelit paper flowers lighting up the river.

Every family wishes for a peaceful year with vegetarian food, rice, salt, wine, aloeswood, votive ancestral tablets and paper.

In boosting tourism promotion, Hội An city has launched an online portal – Hội An innovation city – on metaverse and bizverse showing the UNESCO-recognised Hội An in cutting-edge 360 virtual reality technology.

Lanterns are used to decorate Hôi An every full moon. The tourism hub also lights up lanterns on weekends. — VNS Photo Công Thành

It will help visitors explore destinations of the world heritage site through virtual reality technology before travelling to Hội An.

The Old Quarter of Hội An was recognised as a world heritage by UNESCO in 1999 along with Mỹ Sơn Sanctuary, and Hội An-Chàm Islands world biosphere reserve in 2009. — VNS



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