COVID-19 forces suspension of Hanoi spring festivals hinh anh 1Pilgrims travelled to Huong (Perfume) Pagoda for its annual festival in 2020 (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Many spring festivals in the capital city of Hanoi will be halted as it is applying COVID-19 preventive measures.

Hanoi festivals have been cancelled for the second straight year due to the ongoing pandemic. Incense offering rituals will be held in small scale.

Authorities of My Duc district, which is home to Huong (Perfume) Pagoda, is building plans to welcome back visitors in the coming time and seeking approval of the municipal People’s Committee.

The pagoda has stopped receiving visitors since last May due to the pandemic.

Huong Pagoda, located in Huong Son commune of My Duc, consists of a vast complex of Buddhist temples and shrines built on limestone Huong Tich mountains.

Every year, the site hosts a large number of pilgrims from all over the country. The pilgrimage festival starts from the 6th day of the lunar year, while the peak falls between the 15th day of the first lunar month to the 18th day of the second lunar month. Yet the spectacular landscape draws tourists also throughout the year.

Spring festivals in Soc Son district are suspended and only small incense offering ceremonies held. Its communes and townships are asked to bolster inspection of the holding of cultural, sporting and tourism activities in celebration of the Lunar New Year (Tet) festival.

Inscribed in 2010 on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, the 3-day Giong festival of Phu Dong and Soc temples in Soc Son is celebrated annually, starting on the sixth day of the lunar year and attracting thousands of visitors.

Other major events, particularly the Co Loa, Hai Ba Trung and Tan Vien Son Thanh (Tan Vien Mountain Saint) festivals in Hanoi’s outlying districts of Dong Anh, Me Linh and Ba Vi will also be put on hold.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has ordered stepping up preventive measures to ensure safety during the 2022 Tet festival, asking units and localities to halt the organisation of festivals and firework displays on the occasion.

At present, nearly 600 COVID-19 patients in Hanoi are in critical condition./.