Dragon dance performance at King Mai Temple Festival in Nam Dan district. Photo: Huy Thu
After two years of pandemic, in 2023, the local people in Nghe An as well as cross country tourists are looking forward to the festive season. The festivals’ organizers in many localities have planned in advance to preserve cultural identity, meet the entertainment demands of the people and exploit the potential for tourism development.
In 2023, Nghe An has 29 district and provincial festivals, of which 20 ones take place in the spring, meaning the spring is the festive season. Districts and towns are striving to have a successful festive season and leave a good impression on people and visitors. In particular, to attract visitors, localities are aiming to exploit the characteristic values and identity of the festivals.
For example, this year's Nam Dan district’s King Mai Hac De Temple Festival is really special, because it is associated with the 1310th anniversary of the Hoan Chau Uprising (713 - 2023) and receiving the status of a national special heritage. Nam Dan district will strive to organize a large-scale and attractive festival, bringing its own characteristics and promoting traditional cultural values.
To attract tourists, besides rituals, the King Mai Temple Festival’s organizing committee also pays attention to folk games and sports such as traditional wrestling, card chess, cockfighting as well as the display of “One Commune, One Product” (OCOP) and typical products such as soy sauce, calf sausage, tapioca flour.
Thereby, visitors have the opportunity to learn about the traditions and the people in King Mai's hometown, enjoy and purchase famous products in the ancient capital of Van An. In particular, on this occasion, Nam Dan district will introduce historical relics, destinations and tours, routes in the area for visitors to sightsee and experience.
Traditional wrestling at King Mai Temple Festival. Photo: Huy Thu
For Hoang Mai town, the Con Temple Festival is associated with the opening of tourism in 2023. In addition to preserving and promoting cultural identity and improving the spiritual life of the people, the festival also aims to lure a large number of tourists to the coastal countryside.
Therefore, along with the rituals, during the festival, the organizing committee also enhances traditional games such as boat racing, card chess, releasing fish and art photo exhibitions, culinary contests between restaurants and hotels to attract tourists. It means that when taking part in Con Temple Festival, visitors will be immersed in the joyful atmosphere and enjoy the beauty of the landscape, culinary taste and feel the depth of a coastal area’s cultural life.
Like Nam Dan district and Hoang Mai town, other localities aim to exploit their own characteristics and cultural identity to attract and serve tourists during the festivals. There are traditional boat races and tours of coastal cultural relics at Van Loc Temple festival (Cua Lo town); the ethnic minorities’ traditional sports competition and community tourist attractions at the Chin Gian Temple festival (Que Phong) and the specialties of mountainous areas at the Van– Cua Rao Temple Festival (Tuong Duong)...
Hmong flute dance at Van-Cua Rao Temple in Tuong Duong district. Photo: Cong Kien
Besides, ensuring security and order during the festival is of special concern to localities. In their plans of organizing festivals, arranging security forces, ensuring the safety of local people and visitors is a matter that the organizing committee pays special attention to.
In particular, in competitions that attract a large number of spectators such as boat racing, sports competitions, releasing lanterns on the river at the festivals of Con Temple, Van Loc Temple, King Mai Temple and Qua Son Temple, there will be potential safety risks, the organizing committee has directed to develop options, depending on the actual situation.
In festivals with culinary services to promote and serve tourists, the issue of ensuring food hygiene and safety will be regularly checked by local authorities. Especially, the food stalls temporarily set up at the festivals of Van – Cua Rao Temple and Pu Nha Thau Temple will be closely monitored, trying to avoid unfortunate incidents.
According to the leader of the Department of Tourism, as soon as the plan for organizing festivals was promulgated, the department issued an official dispatch directing to strengthen epidemic prevention and ensure that tourism activities during the festive season take place smoothly.
Moreover, it requires the localities to prepare enough food, goods and necessary conditions to serve visitors;ensure public price listing; review facilities, processes, service and repair in a timely manner; strictly implement measures to prevent and control epidemics, fire and explosion; ensure food safety and hygiene; sufficient manpower to serve and support tourists; environmental protection, waste collection...
Mr. Nguyen Manh Loi – Deputy Director of the Department of Tourism said: "The festive season in early spring is an important occasion to attract tourists to Nghe An to celebrate and visit historical and cultural relics, enjoy the specialties of each region. After a two-year pause, this year localities are trying to aim for a joyful, safe and economical festive season, contributing to the implementation of targets and plans to attract tourists in 2023".