Government, State and NA leaders attended several festivals that opened on February 23, the 14th day of the first lunar month.

Vice State President Nguyen Thi Doan took part in the Tran Thuong Temple Festival that opened in the northern province of Ha Nam .

The temple was built in honour of the famous Vietnamese General Tran Hung Dao (1228-1300) and soldiers who contributed to the fight against the invading Yuan-Mongol armies during the 13th century.

The General established a granary for the army during the war where the Tran Thuong Temple is now located.

Each year, as part of the festival, local residents organise food distribution ceremonies to commemorate the General's achievements and to educate younger generations about the importance of saving and stockpiling food for emergencies.

Locals and pilgrims from other regions flock to the festival to receive food parcels, a New Year lucky charm. The small packages symbolise the wish for a peaceful and prosperous life.

National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung attended a meeting in central Nghe An province to mark the 1,300 th anniversary of the Hoan Chau Uprisings and the King Mai Temple 2013 Festival.

Addressing the event, Hung said the King Mai Temple Festival is a lesson for educating national patriotism, and he highlighted the significance of the Hoan Chau Uprisings in the country’s historic fight against foreign aggressors led by hero Mai Thuc Loan who later became King Mai Hac De.

He said he hopes Nghe An authorities and people will exert their efforts to develop the province.

The King Mai Temple Festival is expected to last for three days until February 24.

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan participated in the Tran Temple Festival in northern Nam Dinh province, which is dedicated to the sacred seal in a palanquin.

In his speech, the chairman of the Nam Dinh City People’s Committee highlighted the Tran dynasty’s great contributions to the nation, and declared the start of this year’s seal issuance ceremony.

Every visitor to the three-day festival is expected to receive a paper seal issued by the organising board in the hope that it will bring them good fortune and prosperity in the New Year.

Also on February 23, southern Kien Giang province celebrated the Culture-Tourism Year Festival and the 277 th anniversary of the Chieu Anh Cac Literary Coterie.

The festival was opened with a song and dance performance and a lantern festival .

A food street featuring local specialities and a photographic exhibition are also included.

On the fifteenth day of the first lunar month of 1736, Admiral Tran Ha Tien and poet Mac Thien Tich established the Chieu Anh Cac Literary Coterie, which is considered the country’s second literary forum in the first half of the 18th century.

The same day, Secretary of the Hanoi Party’s Committee Pham Quang Nghi highlighted the Vietnam and Hanoi Buddhist Sangha’s contributions to national construction and defence and the city’s development during his visit to Buddhist monks and nuns at Bang A Pagoda in Hoang Mai district.

Head of Bang A Pagoda Venerable Thich Bao Nghiem said the Hanoi Buddhist Sangha together with Buddhist monks and nuns will join people countrywide in national patriotic movements.-VNA