The first Ban Gioc Waterfall Festival and Then Singing and Dan Tinh Performance - Cao Bang 2017 officially opened in the northern mountainous province of Cao Bang’s Trung Khanh District on October 7.
The event features the largest waterfall in the country on Viet Nam - China border lines and "then" (god) singing – a traditional kind of oratorio art by local ethnic minorities, accompanied by an indispensible instrument of “then” singing – the “dan tinh” (gourd lute).
The event is part of a series of activities by Cao Bang with the purpose of introducing the image of the homeland and people to friends in the country and internationally, as well as promoting tourism development and attracting more visitors to the location.
It also aims to honour, preserve and facilitate the special folk art forms of Tay and Nung ethnic groups in Cao Bang.
The ritual ceremonies were held at the Buddhist temple of Truc Lam Ban Gioc (Dam Thuy Commune) with a ceremony to bring sacred water from Ban Gioc Waterfall to the pagoda and a ceremony praying for peace and a prosperous nation.
A highlight of the opening was an international cultural exchange between Trung Khanh district (Vietnam) with two neighbouring counties of Jingxi and Daxin under Chinese Guangxi province, held at the stage at the foot of Ban Gioc Waterfall.
During the two-day event, folk games such as con throwing (throwing a sacred ball through a ring) and stick pushing will also be held, along with a photo exhibition.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Nguyen Trung Thao, Vice Chairman of Cao Bang People's Committee stressed that Ban Gioc Waterfall is considered as the most beautiful in Southeast Asia and was voted one of the top ten waterfalls in the world by Touropia Magazine. Recently, the number of tourists visiting Ban Gioc is increasing and it is expected to become a national tourist site in the future.
The Prime Minister has recently approved a master and a detailed plan for the construction of the Ban Gioc Waterfall tourist site, creating favourable conditions for investors to build tourism infrastructure. Cao Bang province also has mechanisms and policies to attract businesses to invest in tourism development in Ban Gioc Waterfall.
The festival is expected to promote the tourism potential of the locality, contributing to the promotion of local socio-economic development, ensuring national defence and security, and attracting investment, along with the boosting of border trade activities.