Visitors to the Bulgarian rose festival (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - The ‘Bulgaria Rose Festival with Friends’ opened on March 3 in Hanoi, attracting thousands of local and foreign lovers of nature from different regions of northern Vietnam.
   
The festival, the biggest ever in the country, is being held from March 3-8 in the capital city, featuring 300 kinds of roses from Bulgaria and other countries.

The event is taking place on Thong Nhat island in Thong Nhat Park. The island has been decorated with roses in different sections, each with its own theme.

The festival is being organised by the Embassy of Bulgaria in Vietnam and the Vietnam-Bulgaria Friendship Association, on the occasion of the National Day of Bulgaria and 67th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

The Bulgarian embassy also offered the Hanoi People Committee some damascene roses, the most typical rose variety from Bulgaria.

The Ambassador of Bulgaria to Vietnam, Evgueni Stoytchev, said at the festival’s opening ceremony that he highly appreciated the efforts of the Vietnam-Bulgaria Friendship Association in co-organising this festival. He also highlighted the close friendship between the two countries.

“The rich culture of Bulgaria is well known in Vietnam, and cherished in the hearts and memories of the tens of thousands of Vietnamese people who studied and worked in Bulgaria in the last decades of the last century. They remember Bulgaria as the land of roses, land of opportunities and their second homeland,” he said. 

“Ever since, Vietnam has remained one of Bulgaria’s main partners in Asia, and we have enjoyed a most vibrant and close relationship,”

“Bulgaria has been famous for rose festivals in the Rose Valley for centuries. Since 1903, this traditional festival has been held on the first Sunday of June and attracted millions of tourists from all over the world. In 1971, it became a national festival.” 

 “It is not the first time a Bulgarian rose festival has been held abroad but it is the first time such a large-scale Bulgarian rose festival has been held abroad,” he said.

Nguyen Doan Toan, Vice Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee, also highlighted the significance of the event, saying it is a milestone in our bilaterial relations and a cultural bridge between Vietnam and Bulgaria in general, and between Hanoi and Kazanlak in particular.

“We will plant, preserve, and propagate the Damescene rose, thus contributing to the beauty of Hanoi as well as the solidarity and friendship between the two peoples and between Hanoi and Kazanlak,” he said.

The opening ceremony of the festival included traditional Bulgarian dances. The five-day-long event will offer diverse cultural activities to entertain nature-lovers. Some of the highlights of the festival include a street parade with circus artists and cars decorated with flowers, and performances by street artists from Bulgaria and Vietnam. The Queen of Rose contest will also be held to pick the most beautiful woman.

This rose festival is one of the most anticipated events of the year. However, opinions are divided. Some people expressed their disappointment at to the festival’s opening day as they had expected something even grander.

“I was very excited when I heard about the event. I expected to admire a lot of roses from Bulgaria, but not many are on display here. The bridge was decorated with roses, but they are fake,” said Tran To Nga, a 40 year old teacher.

On the other hand, Mai Thi Ngoc appreciated the event, saying “It’s the first time that I have been able to admire such a wide variety of roses at a park! It’s great moment.”  

The public will be able to enjoy and take part in more activities over the coming days.-VNA