Thousands of historical objects and paintings from collections nationwide are on display at a new exhibition in Hanoi .

To welcome the Year of the Dragon, a number of objects are on show featuring the mythical creature from the Ly-Tran dynasties (11th-14th century), the Le dynasty (15-18th centuries) and the Nguyen dynasty (18th century to 1945).

The exhibits, including candlesticks, vases, basins and chests, are made from a variety of materials, such as bronze, ceramics, pottery and jade.

History lovers have the opportunity to admire Chu Dau ceramics (15th century) and rare objects dating back to the Champa culture (17th-18th century), such as cupboards and bronze Buddhas, lacquered in red and trimmed with gold.

Art lovers can also enjoy paintings, on public display for the first time, from famous painters including Le Cong Nhan, Duong Bich Lien, Bui Xuan Phai, Cong Van Chung and George Khanh.

This is the third time an exhibition of its kind has been organised in Hanoi by the Lovers of Ancient Objects Club to welcome the new year, and according to Nguyen Truong, club chairman, this is the largest.

"This year, the artefacts on display are more diverse and have the greatest aesthetic value," said Truong, who has several objects dating back to the Dong Son culture (1st century – 10th century).

"I hope the exhibition can help the public learn more about the work and the creative skills of our ancestors and build their respect for our country's cultural heritage."

"Antique collecting is a cultural tradition of our country and should be developed. We should respect the enthusiasm of the collectors. The exhibition is an excellent occasion for the public to learn more about the country's cultural value," said historian Duong Trung Quoc at the opening ceremony.

"I am happy to learn more about the dragon and the history of our country. It is my favourite animal and holds a sacred place in Vietnamese culture. The dragon is also a good omen for an abundant harvest," said Le Mai Anh, a visitor at the show.

Exhibits belonging to 35 collectors are on display until February 18 at the Exhibition House, 93 Dinh Tien Hoang Street , Hanoi. /.