Friday, 15 February 2008

Welcome to the Year of the Rat - HCM City (3)

You will see that this was written just before Tet (New Year)

HCM CITY — Viet Nam Television and HCM City Television will broadcast live celebrations from Ha Noi and HCM City on Lunar New Year’s Eve tonight, 6th February, to welcome the Year of the Rat.

In the heart of Ha Noi, Sword Lake – A Shining Gem programme that will be the highlight of the city’s festivities. Ngoc Son Temple and Sword Lake will be lit up and alive with video performances by French architect Alain Hubert. This is the first time a French architect has been responsible for a light show in Ha Noi. Hubert had done a display in the Hue festivals. A light show will go on for 30 minutes accompanied by a special concert with violinist Bui Cong Duy, pianist Trinh Huong and other popular singers. Two ao dai (traditional dress) collections by famous designers Quang Huy and Minh Hanh will be exhibited at the The Huc Bridge.

In Ho Chi Minh City, a huge concert will take place on Nguyen Hue Boulevard from 9pm on New Year’s Eve, along with a laser light show and a clock count-down. The performance will be in three parts: Songs for Spring Flowers, Tet and Motherland, New Spring and More Prosperity. At midnight, 12 artists in animal costumes, one for each of the oriental zodiac years, will perform a show to bid farewell to the Year of the Pig and to welcome the Year of the Rat.

All show spaces will be covered by paper flowers and fireworks at midnight. Meanwhile, other activities have been organised on Nguyen Hue Boulevard and parks throughout the city. At Youth Palace, activities to celebrate Lunar New Year were opened before Tet for migrant workers and students who will not be able to visit their families. Street fairs for old scholarly teachers to paint calligraphy, and others to sell souvenirs and photographs and a newspaper exhibition have been held. The festivities at the Youth Palace will continue over Tet with traditional Guinness record activities, music concerts, human chess, comedy party and traditional martial arts.

As usual, Spring Flower Festival will open at Tao Dan Park with more than 6,000 decorative plants and ornamental animals, along with stone art. There will be contests for flower arranging and ornamental birds. Dam Sen, Suoi Tien, Binh Quoi, Tan Cang and Van Thanh Tourism parks will offer more fun for visitors with artistic performances for the whole Tet festival. —VNS

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