VietNamNet Bridge – The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Hanoi authorities and thousands of people of Gia Lam and Soc Son districts, Hanoi, welcomed the UNESCO’s Certificate of World Intangible Heritage for the Saint Giong Festival on January 22.
Hanoi’s Vice Chair Ngo Thi Thanh Hang and the chief representative of UNESCO in Vietnam – Katherine Muller Ma hold the certificate high.
The festival was the third element of Hanoi's heritage recognized by UNESCO in 2010, joining the 82 doctoral steles in the Temple of Literature, and the Thang Long Royal Citadel.
"Hanoi is proud to receive UNESCO certification. This recognizes the efforts of past generations who handed down their heritage to the people of Ha Noi," said Hanoi’s Vice Chair Ngo Thi Thanh Hang.
"The Giong Festival has all the necessary elements to be recognized as humanity's intangible cultural heritage, especially the element of community participation in preserving and promoting the value of the festival," said Katherine Muller‑Marin, chief representative of the UNESCO in Vietnam.
She also emphasized that the festival had been deeply impressed by the inherited traditions of those residents living along the Red River.
During the ceremony, Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Le Tien Tho, announced a national plan of action to preserve and promote the nation's cultural values during 2011-2015.
The ceremony also included a traditional art performance by locals.
The Saint Giong festival is a unique traditional event in north Viet Nam, held annually from the 6th-12th of the fourth lunar month with a series of processions, rituals and performances. The festival commemorates the legendary national hero who grew overnight from a three-year-old boy into a giant to help rid the country of foreign invaders.
The 9th of the fourth lunar month is the main day of the festival held in Phu Dong Village in Hanoi's Gia Lam District, where the legendary hero was said to have been born.
The festival is a chance for visitors to watch the performance of traditional rituals and artistic activities which have been handed down from generation to generation.