Hanoi cancels biggest spring festival over Covid fear

By Vo Hai   January 26, 2022 | 01:57 am PT
Hanoi cancels biggest spring festival over Covid fear
Boats carrying passengers to the Huong Pagoda dock along Yen Stream in Hanoi's My Duc District, February 2018. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy
Authorities in My Duc District will suspend Huong (Perfume) Pagoda Festival, a large spring celebration, as the Covid pandemic grows increasingly complex.

Local authorities stated preparations for this year's festival are complete but that the pandemic situation in Hanoi remains complicated, prompting its cancelation for the second consecutive year.

The decision came a week after the municipal People's Committee ordered to suspend all unnecessary large gatherings and not to organize any celebratory activity with large crowds during Tet, the most important Vietnamese festival, which begins on Feb. 1.

In addition, the pagoda will not receive visitors until further notice.

The Huong Pagoda festival usually lasts from the sixth day of the first lunar month to the last day of the third lunar month, that is, from Feb. 6 to April 30 this year, with a series of activities like dragon dancing, boat racing and folk singing.

Around 80,000 pilgrims had flocked to the pagoda on the festival's opening day in previous years.

Huong Pagoda, in Huong Son Commune, Hanoi's rural district of My Duc, is a collection of many temples and pagodas built amidst mountains and forests.

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