Vietnam rings in the Lunar New Year, without fireworks

By VnExpress   January 28, 2017 | 12:00 am GMT+7

The important thing is we all rise and shine for the New Year, yeah?

Vietnamese people, especially young city-dwellers, are used to going out on the last night of the Lunar Year to wait for the colorful boom of fireworks while screaming their hearts out or simply exchanging a kiss with a loved one at midnight.

But as there were no fireworks on the Lunar New Year Eve in either Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, Hue or anywhere else in Vietnam due to a government call for austerity, what were their options?

Hanoi had “fireworks,” but not in the way you'd expect.

The capital city had prepared a show with a 30-second countdown to the start of the Lunar New Year marked by firework displays on giant screens.

The screens were installed at various landmarks around the city, including the Opera House, Hoan Kiem Lake and King Ly Thai To Statue. Live entertainment was on show for the crowds to enjoy.

Churches and temples were also welcome to ring their bells at midnight.

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Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy

In Ho Chi Minh City, the 720-meter flower street on Nguyen Hue has been the main downtown gathering point since January 26. Ahead of the New Year's Eve, there were 63 music shows across the city, several of which were aired live.

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Since January 26, the 720-meter flower street on Nguyen Hue has been the main downtown gathering point. Photo by VnExpress/Thanh Nguyen

In the central tourist town of Hue, churches and temples also rang their bells and counted down to the Lunar New Year with a drum performance outside the Imperial City.

Elsewhere in the Mekong Delta, provinces marked the start of the Year of the Rooster with hours of lion dancing and performances featuring the southern folk music genres cai luong and don ca tai tu.

Many people have expressed disappointment over the lack of firework shows this year, saying they hope Vietnam will have a smooth 2017 so the country can afford to bring back what has become a meaningful part of the holiday.

Without fireworks, some said they stayed at home with their families on the New Year's Eve, or did what they usually save for the first day of the year – visiting churches, temples, relatives and friends and handing out lucky money. Others said they just went to bed early, which was not really a bad idea.

The important thing is we all rise and shine for the New Year, yeah?

New Year Eve at a temple in the northern port city of Hai Phong. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Chinh

New Year's Eve at a temple in the northern port city of Hai Phong. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Chinh

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