Hai Phong (VNA) - The Hoa Phuong Do (Red Flamboyant Flower) Festival 2016 opened in the northern port city of Hai Phong on May 6, with the presence of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

The annual event, named after the symbol of Hai Phong - the red flamboyant tree grown across the city - was initiated in 2012 as a new tourism product with attractive and colourful cultural and sport activities at various cultural sites, popular tourist destinations and the main streets of Hai Phong.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Government leader praised efforts made by the local Party committee, authorities and people in making important achievements in socio-economic development and national defence and security, gradually asserting the city’s role as a key centre for industry, trade, services, and tourism in the northern region.

The PM hoped that Hai Phong will continue promoting its traditions and facilitating innovation to create an attractive environment for business and investment, while building a modern government apparatus to serve the people and businesses and drive socio-economic development and international integration.

A carnival with the participation of arts troupes from localities nationwide, and internationally from the Republic of Korea, China, Laos and Thailand was the highlight of the opening ceremony.

About 70 other activities will form part of the three-day event such as a dove release ceremony, an orchid exhibition, street music performances and a golf tournament.

At the opening ceremony, the port city received a certificate recognising its Opera House as a national artistic and architectural relic site and another certificate presented to bestow national intangible cultural heritage status to the festival worshipping Le Chan – a female commander during the Hai Ba Trung (Trung Sisters) uprising against foreign invaders in around 40 A.D.-VNA