By Thu Tam – Translated by Anh Quan
What peach trees are self pollinating
The Hanoitimes – Hanoi dresses up in yellow, red and green as leaves change colors.
In the final days of February, Hanoi is wearing stunning colors as leaves change to yellow, red and green. The picturesque landscape is bringing peace of mind amidst the raging pandemic.
In the area around Hoan Kiem lake, trees are gradually covered with yellow and red colors of leaves.
This is time when loc vung (barringtonia acutangula) and lagerstroemia speciosa change leaves at the same time.
A corner of the capital city is further embellished by the colorful leaves.
Landscape of Hoan Kiem lake in leaf- changing season is very poetic.
The streets are adorned with yellow and green leaves.
On the trees, mixture of yellow, green and red create a kaleidoscope.
The landscape of fallen leaves has left romantic memories on people of all ages.
Young people are taking snapshots with barringtonia acutangula changing leaves.
The poetic scene only lasts about two weeks, then the leaves fall down and the first green buds appear.
Nguyen Thanh Nam has been leading tours in Da Nang for more than a decade and he says most tourists cannot help but be amazed at the beautiful nature of Nam O Reef.
“The reefs combine with beautiful sand, clear blue seawater, and green trees to become a must-visit destination for nature lovers when coming to Da Nang,” said Nam.
“During spring, when the tide recedes, rocks of different shapes and sizes reveal they are covered with green moss. They look so beautiful, just like green pearls.”
Born in Da Nang and spending his childhood living near the reef, Nam has been coming to the place since it was just a pristine beach where fishermen in Nam O village made their living.
“The name can be referred to as ‘The beach located in the south of Chau O’, it also means ‘southern gate’,” said the 35-year-old tour guide.
“Nam O Reef is about 500m long jutting out into the sea with a dense layer of rock hidden under the cool blue seawater. There are many rock layers, stacked to form many unique shapes.”
“By lunar January, when the weather warms up, green moss begins to grow on the rocks. The best time to enjoy this moment is dawn when the sun comes up, the tide recedes, beautiful rocks formed in all shapes are revealed, mixed in the sand and covered with a carpet of green moss,” he added.
Visitor Anh Thu from Thanh Khe district of Da Nang said: “Da Nang has many beautiful beaches such as My Khe, Pham Van Dong and Man Thai. However, this is the first time my family has gone to Nam O.”
“The air here is so fresh. At this time of spring, the rocks are covered with a layer of green moss which is so charming.
“This is an opportunity for my whole family to experience the life of fishermen in the coastal fishing village. This place is also an ideal destination for photographers,” said Thu.
Speaking of photography, nearby the reef, Quang Thanh from HCM City was looking the best camera angles for his photos.
“I’m a photographer from Saigon and I come here to capture the beauty of this place. It has to be spring if you want to get the best out of it.
“I took many pictures about the moss season in the central coastal provinces. In Nam O, large and small rocks mix with many different shapes and combine with the dawn light passing through the rocks, creating very vivid and unique photos,” he said.
After getting up in the early morning, you can buy delights from the sea caught by fishermen in the village.
Fresh squid, shrimp, and fish thrashing when being pulled from the sea and the enthusiasm of the local people give tourists an unforgettable experience.
This place is also home to the Nam O fish sauce village which has existed for more than 400 years. Last year, the village was honoured as the National Intangible Cultural Heritage.
The plants, in their flowering stage, were found growing in their gardens in Luc Ngan District, famous for its litchis. One household had 61 plants, the highest among the eight households.
Local police discovered the cultivation on February 24 and seized all the plants. They said the households will be punished for administrative violations.
Local police pluck out opium plants from a family garden in Luc Ngan District, Bac Giang Province. Photo courtesy of police.
Earlier, a 35-year-old man was recently found growing nearly 3,500 opium plants in his garden in Viet Yen District.
Opium is on the list of narcotics forbidden in Vietnam.
Those growing opium on a small scale can be fined VND2-5 million ($86.16-215.40). Farmers found cultivating 500 to 3,000 plants could face jail terms of six months to three years, while those operating on a bigger scale can get up to seven years in jail.
Thai Nguyen (VNA) – The youth unions of the Central Agencies Bloc and the northern province of Thai Nguyen on February 28 co-organised a ceremony in the locality to kick off the Youth Month 2021, and launch a tree-planting festival.
The event was in response to the 90th founding anniversary of the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union (March 26, 1931-2021).
A wide range of programmes and activities were held in the framework of the event, including presenting gifts to 15 former volunteer youths, bikes to 10 students with special circumstances in Dai Tu district and bookcases to local schools, and supporting the building of house for one poor household, among others.
Following the launching ceremony, the participants and local youths planted trees, and clean up the Vietnamese youth historical relic site, and several roads in Dai Tu district./.
The Mong in Ha Giang celebrate their Gau Tao spring festival from the 3rd to the 6th day of the lunar New Year to thank the Jade Emperor and other deities for blessing them with health, happiness, prosperity, and bumper crops. Couples who cannot get pregnant attend the festival to pray for having children.
“In the past the Gau Tao festival was hosted by married people who couldn’t have children. If they subsequently had children, they would organize another ceremony to thank the Jade Emperor and other deities and invite all the villagers to come share their happiness, and pray for the happiness of all people,” says Vang Chan Giao, a Mong man in Thanh Van commune.
One week ahead of the festival, people erect a Neu pole in the middle of the village. The Neu pole, a tall bamboo pole decorated with red paper, is believed to chase away evils.
“First, we choose a person to host the festival. Second, we pick a bamboo tree which is about 7 m tall. We plant the Neu pole in an open space and decorate the surrounding area to inform people of the festival,” says Giao.
“Before planting the Neu pole, a shaman conducts a ritual to thank Heaven and Earth and hangs a bottle of liquor and a sheaf of rice from the top of the Neu pole to represent prosperity and a red cloth to represent good luck,” he adds.
The festival follows the Neu pole ceremony and worship of the deities. Young men compete to climb the Neu pole to retrieve the bottle of liquor, the rice, and the red cloth.
Vang Minh The, a young man in Thanh Van commune, notes, “Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s festival was cancelled. The Gau Tao festival is a meaningful event for the Mong. We have fun and compete in many folk games. I hope the festival will continue to be held every year so people can pray for good luck and prosperity.”
The Mong attend the Gau Tao festival to have fun and strengthen their community through folk singing, dancing, and games. In recent years Ha Giang province has organized the Gau Tao festival with certain variations to attract tourists. Vang Chan Giao said he hopes the festival will retain its traditional features so young Mong people will understand their culture.
“I’ve attended the Gau Tao festival in some localities which have introduced variations. I think the festival should be held with all its original features so the Mong people will value it and tourists will be inspired to explore Mong culture,” says Giao.