To meet people's entertainment needs during the Lunar New Year (Tet), Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) government and related departments are preparing a range of cultural activities to welcome the Year of the Cat.
This year, under leadership of the Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee, the Saigontourist Travel Services Company in conjunction with local departments will organize a range of programs in the city center including the Nguyen Hue Flower Street, the "Tet" (cylindrical glutinous rice) Cake Festival, Shining City, Lunar New Year's Eve Fireworks, Street Decoration and Door Shows with the themes of Vietnamese soul, Tet in the south and safe and happy spring to serve tourists from 7pm on January 31 until 10pm on February 6. The highlight of the festival this year will be the Nguyen Hue Flower Street. Following the theme of "the Spring Dawn" of 2010, this year's theme will be "NewHeights". Nguyen Hue Flower Street will reflect enormous efforts of Ho Chi Minh City to achieve higher economic, social and political results.
As part of the activities welcoming in the Year of the Cat, the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Information and Communications will, in conjunction with the Ho Chi Minh City Association of Journalists launch the Spring Newspaper Festival of 2011 on January 20-21, 2011 at the Ho Chi Minh City Youth Palace of Culture. This is an annual Ho Chi Minh City Spring event. Nguyen Anh Tuan, the deputy director of the Department of Information and Communications, said that the Spring Newspaper Festival would feature 45 pavilions which showcase all types of the press. It is estimated that the festival will feature about 200 centrally-governed newspapers, local newspapers and newspapers from surrounding provinces. Many of the newspapers will release special New Year editions, which will be given to students, soldiers and workers in industrial zones. In addition, a meeting among famous journalists, students, workers and soldiers will be held. People who attend the festival will receive free health advice and there will be competitions for the most well-designed booth and publication front cover.
A book street festival will also be organised. Nguyen Hoang Ha, a representative from the Department of Information and Communications, said that the book street festival would feature the Fahasa Book Distribution Company, Thanh Nghia Book Distribution Company and Ho Chi Minh City Library, with the intention of promoting an increased appreciation for literature, especially among the young. Many other activities such as the publishing of e-books, books for the blind and meetings with famous poets and writers will be organized. Visitors can borrow books and read them on-site, exchange and buy books. Twenty old books will be displayed.
A representative from the Ho Chi Minh City Library said that the book street festival would focus on children, and host 3,500 books for young readers. In addition, the library would hold a book exhibition attracting the participation of many provinces.