The traditional custom of erecting “cay neu” (Tet pole), a folk ritual believed to chase off ghosts and monsters during the Lunar New Year (Tet), has marked the official arrival of spring in Hue imperial city in central Thua Thien-Hue province.

Around 60,000 tourists have booked to visit the province during Tet, the country’s largest holiday, with 40,000 of them being foreigners.

An outdoor concert and fireworks display to kick off the Year of Goat will be held at Ngo Mon – Ky Dai Square, Hue City and in Phong Dien district during New Year’s Eve on February 18.

The Imperial Citadel will host a wide range of Hue’s signature activities, for example, a guard changing ceremony, royal court music and martial arts performances, royal games, and dragon and lion dances between February 19 and 21 whilst there will be art performances to celebrate spring in Ngo Mon Square.

The guard changing ceremony will be performed with “Dang dan cung” royal court song played in the background, says Director of Hue Relic Conservation Centre Phan Thanh Hai.

All ancient monuments in the city have no admission charge during the time.

Meanwhile, Duyet Thi Duong Theatre in Hue will come alive during Tet when more than 170 singers, dancers and musicians together take to the stage exclusive Royal Court songs popular under the Nguyen dynasty (1802 – 1945), including “Trong Thai Binh”, “Tam Luan Cuu Chuyen”, “Phu Luc Dich”, “Kim Tien” and “Luc Cung Hoa Dang”.

Many kinds of flowers grown in Nguyet Bieu, Bai Dau, Phu Thuong, Duong Xuan villages were brought to Phu Van Lau Park, Culture and Information Centre and An Dinh Palace for a display a week before Tet, creating a vibrant atmosphere in the province.

The locality presented 10 billion VND (469,000 USD) worth of gifts to around 50,000 policy beneficiaries and 30,000 poor households to help them have a warm Tet holiday.

Several charitable programmes including “Tet for the poor 2015”, “Winter volunteer” and “Spring volunteer” were held to raise fund for the poor from local businesses, organisations and individuals.

The province has handed over 750 pieces of clothes, 500 notebooks, and 13,000 gifts to disadvantaged people so far while 300 of them have been offered free medical checks-up.-VNA