The Quang Nam Heritage Itinerary Festival 2009 opened in the central province of Quang Nam on June 4 to mark 10 years of UNESCO recognising My Son Sanctuary and Hoi An ancient town as world cultural heritages.
The opening ceremony took place amongst the splendid My Son temples and towers in the presence of representatives from international organisations, the diplomatic corps and many local and overseas visitors.
According to head of the festival’s organising board, Deputy Chairman of the Quang Nam People’s Committee Tran Minh Ca, during the biennial festival, over 30 festive, cultural and sporting events will be held in Hoi An and Duy Xuyen and Dien Ban districts with the theme “Heritage in our hands and hearts”.
This year’s festival is being held to promote the two heritage sites and calls on the community to get together and help conserve them as well as highlight the local areas’ economic potential, Ca said.
The festival will include performances of folk art, and exhibitions of antiques, paintings, photos and sculptures relating to the two heritage sites.
A traditional craft village fair, Laotian and Vietnamese cuisine, a carnival night, calligraphy writing and a series of sporting events, including a golf tournament and a boat race will take place during the festival.
Two world beauty queens, Miss World 2007 Zhang Zi Lin and Miss World 2008 Ksenia Sukhinova, will attend as guests.
The festival will run until June 7 with the closing ceremony being held in Hoi An ancient town.
My Son, which was recognised as a world cultural heritage site alongside Hoi An in 1999, is the cradle of the Cham people who joined other ethnic groups such as Viet, Co Tu, Xe Dang, Co, De Trieng, Chinese and Japanese to build their lives in Quang Nam.
Their 600-year-old heritage has produced a tradition of art, religion, architecture and food from many different ethnic groups.
These special and diversified cultural characteristics created the complex of Hoi An’s old quarters and My Son temples, that resulted in the area being added to UNESCO’s preservation list.