The 2018 Gong Cultural Festival opened in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai, attracting around 1,000 performers from the Central Highlands region.
The opening ceremony took place on the evening of November 30 and saw the participation of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and representatives from ministries and agencies.
The opening ceremony of the festival
The event which will last until December 2 will feature several traditional festivals and rituals from the region, along with special regional dishes.
During the festival, visitors can engage in community-based tours to explore the daily lives of local people and the beautiful landscapes of Gia Lai.
The festival is expected to welcome between 25,000 and 30,000 visitors along with 300 invited guests from ministries, sectors and UNESCO Vietnam, foreign embassies and consulate generals in Vietnam.
At the ceremony, the prime minister called on efforts to preserve gong culture which is an aspect of Central Highland regional identity. According to the government leader, the region needs to focus on organic agriculture as well as tourism development.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc
Nguyen Quang Tue, from the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said more than half of over 10,000 sets of gongs in the Central Highlands are now preserved by Gia Lai Province.
Gong culture was recognised by UNESCO as a masterpiece of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity in 2005. It is closely linked to the daily lives of local people. Their belief systems form a mystical world where the gongs produce a privileged language between men, divinities and the supernatural world.