The 2013 Khau Vai Love Market Festival and Culture-Tourism Week, which opened on May 4 in Meo Vac district, the northern mountainous province of Ha Giang, expects to draw about 10,000 visitors.

The hundred-year-old festival, which is held annually in the third lunar month, is a popular meeting place for ethnic groups in the locality, particularly those in love. Legend has it that a couple who very much loved each other but could not live together made the promise to meet once every year in Khau Vai on the 27th of the third lunar month. From then on, the festival has been held every year on this day for ex-lovers to meet and share their feelings.

The event has now become a tourist attraction, drawing in visitors from across the country and foreigners as well.

This year’s festival, held together with a culture-tourism week, is scheduled to last through May 6, and features a wide variety of cultural activities and performances.

They include a show of traditional costumes of the ethnic groups living in the province, a horse race, and a re-enactment of the rain worshipping ritual of the Lo Lo ethnic minority people.

There are also several contests such as the banh day (round rice cake) making contest of the Nung ethnic group and linen weaving competition of the Mong ethnic minority people.-VNA