The festival is held annually to welcome the spring and to honour ethnic communities’ identity, promote solidarity among them and offer a traditional festive atmosphere to tourists as well.
Some 100 representatives of 15 ethnic groups from 13 localities throughout the country will host activities each day during the month.
The festival climax will be on February 11 and 12 with the Kate Festival of the Cham group, tree planting, folk cham do ho singing and performing Xoe Thai – a UNESCO recognised intangible cultural heritage of humanity.
The Kate Festival is one of the biggest and most unique cultural activities of the Cham. It features a host of activities and ceremonies at ancient towers, with traditions including offerings to ancestors, musical performances, and the signing of hymns praising kings who were prominent in the building and development of the Champa Kingdom and the Cham people.
Tree planting has become an annual Vietnamese custom each Lunar New Year since President Ho Chi Minh initiated the campaign, contributing to environmental protection, socio-economic development, and national defence and security.
Since then, tree planting has been practised whenever a lunar new year comes. It will take place over half an hour at the Thai ethnic village.
Some 60 Thai artists from the northern province of Son La will perform Xee Thai. The dance expresses the solidarity, democracy and collectiveness of the Thai people.
The group dance xoe at spring festivals, crop festival and weddings, which has been considered a cultural symbol of the northwest region.
Xoe Thai performances will begin at 2.30pm on February 11 and 9.30 and 2.30pm on February 12. There will be folk games, traditional dishes, typical delicacies of various ethnic groups and folk singing and dancing.
In addition, visitors to the festival can enjoy and learn how to cook delicious dishes and specialties and make traditional handicrafts of the groups.
The festival offers an opportunity for ethnic groups to meet and exchange cultural values and daily life activities. It also contributes to honouring and preserving the traditional culture of Vietnamese ethnic minorities.