The opening ceremony of the 2019 Con Son – Kiep Bac Spring Festival with many attractive events will take place in just a few more days.
Con Son relic site is clear, clean, and beautiful
There will be some new features at this year's festival; therefore, preparations have been proactively made early by relevant agencies, units, and local authorities.
Radiance and sparkle
Before the festival opening day, Con Son – Kiep Bac relics have seemingly got new coats. 1,800 holy and red flags and a system of banners, signs, etc. have been hung and erected along the roads leading directly to the two relics.
At the relic sites, hundreds of lanterns, thousands of meters of flower strings, lotus lights, flashbulbs, displayed items, and bonsai have been renewed and arranged scientifically and beautifully.
The precincts of the relic sites are clear, clean, and beautiful.
This year, the scenery of Con Son – Kiep Bac relic sites is much more radiant and sparkling than ever with flower gardens covering tens of thousands of square meters blooming under a warm spring weather.
From Con Son pagoda to Nguyen Trai temple, by streams, and under bridges, about 25,000 m2 of fresh flowers such as roses, sunflowers, peonies, and chrysanthemums have been planted thematically, forming new looks for the relic sites.
14 sago palms planted in a straight line behind Kiep Bac temple represent 14 Tran kings. Behind them are 72 other sago palms forming a 陳 character and representing the longevity of Hung Dao Great Lord Tran Quoc Tuan.
Besides, thousands of square meters of flower gardens, bonsai, and miniature landscapes scientifically and beautifully arranged have made the spring scenery there more attractive.
Many people said that the landscape of Con Son – Kiep Bac then was as radiant as that of the Love Valley in Da Lat city (Lam Dong) or flower gardens at Ba Na Hills (Da Nang).
Huong, a visitor from Thanh Mien district, said she was surprised by the change of Con Son – Kiep Bac relics' scenery.
"Last year, we returned home as soon as finishing offering incense at Con Son. However, it is different this year. My friends and I have been retained by blooming flower gardens. The thematically-planted flowers are very beautiful, so we will stay to learn and take photos," said Huong.
The Management Unit of Con Son – Kiep Bac Relics has closely coordinated with Central and local press agencies to proactively propagandize the Con Son – Kiep Bac Spring Festival in association with famous landscapes, used social networking sites for propaganda and invitation of visitors to the festival, actively collaborated with travel agencies to bring tourists to the festival, etc.
This time, early and diverse propaganda has initially been effective with a much higher number of visitors having come to enjoy the spring since the beginning of the year compared to the same period last year.
Many fascinating activities
There will be eight rituals and four folklore activities at this year's Con Son – Kiep Bac Spring Festival, up two rituals over the last spring festival. Those are Lien Hoa Hoi Thuong (Lotus Assembly), which will be restored after one year of interruption, and bell casting rituals at Con Son pagoda.
In addition, many attractive activities of the festival will be maintained like banh chung (square glutinous rice cake), banh day (round glutinous rice cake), clay firecracker, wrestling, and Chinese chess contests, folk-song and quan ho (love duet) singing, etc.
PhD Le Duy Manh, Deputy Head of the Management Unit of Con Son – Kiep Bac Relics, said by that time, the script and process of the rituals of this year's spring festival had been prepared.
The festival organizers have jointly mobilized about 2,200 people to take part in the rituals.
Shortly after Ky Hoi Lunar New Year, the organizers invited monks at Hoang Phap pagoda (Ho Chi Minh city) to join in content organization and decoration to prepare for the Lien Hoa Hoi Thuong ritual.
Compared to the 2017 spring festival, this year's ritual will be held more methodically, largely, and magnificently.
Apart from locals and visitors, about 500 Buddhist monks, nuns, and followers will attend the event.
"Lien Hoa Hoi Thuong is a ritual to commemorate the great vows of Amitabha Buddha and pray for a peaceful and prosperous nation. The highlight of the ritual is lighting and releasing lanterns on Con Son lake. Taking place at night, the ritual will definitely make the festive space more sparkling and sacred," said PhD Le Duy Manh.
The bell casting ritual will be held in the stone yard of Con Son pagoda right after the water procession ritual (February 20 morning).
The heaven-earth sacrificing ritual on Ngu Nhac mountain will be organized more methodically with the participation of Central and provincial leaders, representatives of departments, boards, branches, and unions, locals, and visitors.
The Management Unit of Con Son – Kiep Bac Relics has prepared more than 1,000 leaflets with images and introductions on Ngu Nhac mountain and the heaven-earth sacrificing ritual for free distribution.
The amount of cereals prepared for dispensation to delegates, locals, and tourists is four times greater than last year.
The festival opening ceremony is to be held on the evening of February 20 (i.e. the 16th day of the 1st lunar month) instead of the morning like many years before and telecast live by the Hai Duong Radio and Television.
To date, the Content Sub-unit has agreed to the organization process, in which, the staging of and practice for the artistic item Ve Noi Nhan Kiet Dia Linh (Coming to the Land of Extraordinary People) have finished.
The organization of the festival opening ceremony at night will attract more locals and visitors and make the relic space more sparkling. However, this requires careful preparation and, especially, assurance of security and order.
"We have prepared conditions to decorate the venue of the festival opening ceremony more splendidly. A power unit will prepare a generator to regain electricity within 30 seconds or one minute in case of power outage. Maximal security forces have been mobilized to keep guard and regulate traffic with specific tasks assigned to each person," said PhD Le Duy Manh.