Festivals nationwide suspended due to COVID outbreak

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Part of the Trần Thương Temple Festival in the northern province of Hà Nam. Many festive and cultural activities nationwide to celebrate Tết (Lunar New Year) holiday will be suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic VNA/VNS Photo Đại Nghĩa

HÀ NỘI — Many festive and cultural activities nationwide to celebrate Tết (Lunar New Year) holiday will be suspended due to the rising number of community COVID-19 infections in the past week.

The People’s Committee of Đà Nẵng City requested the cancellation of two fairs and the opening ceremony of the “Vietnamese money through the ages” exhibition.

The exhibition itself will still be open to visitors at Đà Nẵng Museum from January 30 to Februrary 18.

Meanwhile, organisers of the festival of Cơ Tu Toom Sara Village in Hòa Vang District on the outskirts of Đà Nẵng, scheduled to take place on February 14-15, has also announced its suspension.

The People’s Committee of the northern province of Bắc Giang has requested halting all local religious ceremonies and activities that gather more than 50 attendees, as well as cancelled all cultural, sports and entertainment activities at public places of the province.

Viềng Market Festival in the northern province of Nam Định, one of the most anticipated spring festivals in northern Việt Nam, has also been officially called off.

“The cancellations of the festivals have affected the revenue of the businesses and services at the festivals and tourist attractions,” said Ninh Thị Thu Hương, director of the Department of Grassroots Culture in the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

“However, localities need to seriously implement the measures of pandemic prevention in the fields of culture, sports and tourism according to the guidance issued by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.”

For provinces where the pandemic is under control and with low risk of infection, the scale and length of festivals should be reduced while their forms should be adjusted accordingly.

Hương added: “For localities with high risks of pandemic transmission in the community, it is necessary to cancel organisations of various types of festivals that mass gather people in the area until the pandemic is controlled.”

The Office of the Hà Nội People’s Committee has just issued a notice, conveying Vice Chairman of the People’s Committee Chử Xuân Dũng instructions on festivals in the city.

The Department of Culture and Sports will preside over and coordinate with other related departments and institutes to offer advice to the City People’s Committee on setting up an interdisciplinary team that aims at inspecting the organisation and management of festivals.

The vice chairman said: “The Department of Culture and Sports presides over and coordinates with the Department of Information and Communications and the People’s Committee to continue promoting the Code of Conduct in public places. At the sites where the festivals take place, guides should be arranged so that residents and visitors can be aware of proper behaviour.”

According to Tô Văn Động, Director of Hanoi Department of Culture and Sports, the department will strictly abide by the directions of the City People’s Committee on ensuring security and safety in the festival organisation.

“We have strengthened the awareness of people at tourist sites, festival activities and public places about the disease prevention and control via various means like signboards, leaflets and loudspeakers. Specifically, it is imperative that people wear masks on participating in festival activities,” he said.

“Regarding the suspension of festivals in the city, we are also waiting for specific direction of the City People’s Committee, based on the actual situation.”

Hà Nội is the locality with the most festivals in Việt Nam with more than 1,200 festivals that are mainly celebrated in the first months of the lunar year. However, due to the outbreak of COVID-19, only 139 festivals were held in 2020. — VNS

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