terraced paddy fields (Source: VNA)
The cultural and tourism week honouring the values of terraced paddy fields and the culture of ethnic groups in the northern mountainous province of Ha Giang kicked off in Hoang Su Phi district on September 24.

In his opening ceremony, Secretary of the Hoang Su Phi district Party Committee Hoang Hai Ly said the event contributes to promoting tourism development in the locality and the province in general.

As the first of its kind, the event will feature landscapes, historical and cultural sites, traditional festivals of the locality, including the Quya Hieng festival of the Dao people in Ho Thau commune, a rite to worship the forest genie of the Dao ethnic group in Po Lo commune, and the Gau Tao festival of the Mong ethnic group in Ba Peo commune.

A ceremony to announce the Decision recognising the Quya Hieng festival as a national intangible cultural heritage will be arranged as part of the event.

Visitors to the festival will be offered a chance to survey the most beautiful 100-year-old terraced paddy fields in Vietnam across six communes: Ban Luoc, San Sa Ho, Ban Phung, Ho Thau, Nam Ty and Thong Nguyen.

They will also join traditional cultural and sporting activities of local ethnic groups while learning about their habits and customs.

A photo exhibition spotlighting landscapes and daily life o local residents will be organised in the framework of the event.

Located in northern Vietnam at an altitude of 1,000-1,600 metres above sea level, Ha Giang boasts dramatic landscapes and rich biodiversity. It is also home to numerous medicinal plants.

The national heritage terraced rice fields in Hoang Su Phi, which draw thousands of holiday-makers every year, are only some of the fascinating tourism attractions the province has to offer.

Ha Giang is home to 19 ethnic minority groups that are steeped in cultural traditions, such as the Khau Vai Love Market, the ethnic Dao “cap sac” (coming-of-age) ritual, ethnic Pa Then flame dancing, the ethnic Tay “Long Tong” (field work) festival and the ethnic Lo Lo prayers for rain.-VNA