A three-day Vegetarian Food Festival will be held for the first time in HCM City at District 1's September 23 Park.

Apart from restaurants, around 80 stalls will feature packaged vegetarian-food producers under the theme For the Sake of Health and the Environment.

The festival starts with a Colours of Vegetarian Food cooking contest on August 26 afternoon, which will be followed by an evening of performances to officially kick off the event.

Other activities include a presentation on the benefits of vegetarianism and a forum on modern vegetarian trends by nutritional and environmental experts who will guide guests on how to prepare healthy, tasty vegetarian meals.

Guests can also show off their cooking skills in the Get in the Kitchen with Celebrities cooking show.

On the occasion of a Buddhist filial piety festival, which falls in the seventh lunar month, the festival also celebrates mothers with a concert and a flower-lantern evening to pray for parents' well-being.

Organised by the HCM City 's Association of Enterprises, the festival aims to not only raise public awareness about the importance of vegetarian food to a healthy environment, but also to encourage the public to reduce meat consumption.

The raising of cattle, for example, contributes to global climate change because of the large volume of methane, a greenhouse gas, released by the animals. The organisers said they expected to hold the festival on an annual basis./.