Countless numbers of people are expected to attend two big ceremonies in Nam Dinh and Ha Nam provinces on the night of Feb. 15 and early Feb. 16 morning.

A seal opening ceremony to welcome the new year is being held at the Tran Temple, Loc Vuong Ward in the northern city of Nam Dinh, the cradle of the Tran dynasty in the 13-14th centuries.

The country's leaders, the provincial chairman, the provincial Party committee secretary and the 14 oldest people from Loc Vuong Ward have been invited to attend the ceremony to be held in Thien Truong (upper temple).

This year, replica good luck seals will be issued to the public from 75 spots to prevent disorder. About 10,000-12,000 people are expected to receive seals from the organisation board.

The ceremony is held annually to preserve and bring into play cultural and moral values and traditions of the Vietnamese ancestors, especially the national heroes under the Tran dynasty.

Covering over 10ha in Loc Vuong Ward, 80km south of Hanoi , the Tran Temple comprises Thien Truong where the 14 Tran kings are worshipped, Co Trach (lower temple) dedicated to General Tran Hung Dao (1228-1300), and Bao Loc Temple , home to the General's tomb and statue.

Tran Hung Dao was famous for his triumphs over the mighty Mongol Yuan dynasty. In Ha Nam province, six stores of food were set up in the Tran Thuong Temple by the General in 1285 to serve in his second fight against the Mongol Yuan.

Since then, a food ceremony has been held by local people in his honour. The ceremony will be held at 15 spots around the temple and about 50,000 people are expected to attend from 11.05pm Feb. 16.

The main ceremony will take place officially from 10pm-11pm today. /.