Artisans to decorate streets for flower festival
Update: Nov 25, 2008
There will be a frenzy of flowers at Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi next month, as craftsmen take over the centre with their artistic and floral creations.

The five-day event Flower Street Festival – Hanoi 2009, will welcome famous artisans and craftsmen from Hanoi’s traditional villages to present their artwork made from hundreds of thousands of flowers, as well as their traditional products.

From December 31, 2008 to January 4, 2009 the festival will take over a 600 m-long stretch of road, from the intersection of Dinh Tien Hoang - Hang Bai - Trang Tien - Hang Khay to Ba Kieu Temple alongside Hoan Kiem Lake.

The colourful flower beds will be designed by some of Hanoi’s most famous florists, including Mai Hanh, Duc Hai and Nguyen Ba Muu. The fresh flowers will be accompanied by a range of materials, including silk and wood.

Artisans from Chuong village-a famous conical hat-making village – will present an installation of conical hats in different sizes, while artisans from the fan-making Chang Son village will display a massive fan, measuring 9 m wide and 4.5 m high.

Artisan Lan Tuyen will provide a warm welcome to the festival grounds, creating a peach-blossom-shaped gate from bamboo tape fans. Typical old quarter mossy-roof houses will be replicated by artisans Nguyen Manh Tuan from Bat Trang pottery village, while massive lotus-shaped lanterns will also adorn the lake.

“Flower beds and art installations will be in harmony to ensure that this will be the most stunning festival Hanoi has ever seen,” said flower artisan Nguyen Manh Hung, the main designer of the festival’s flower decorations.

Hung will also impress tourists with ao dai (traditional dress) collection made from rattan, silk flowers, dried flowers and leaves.

According to deputy director of Hanoi’s Culture, Sports and Tourism Department Nguyen Khac Loi, the week is not just about livening up the city’s scenery, but is also a meaningful cultural activity to welcome the New Year.

“The festival is an event to present the golden skills of Hanoi’s artists and to express the cultural quintessence of the 1,000-year-old capital,” he said.

“We expect to get as much experience as possible from this year’s festival to plan a flower festival next year – the year of the 1,000th anniversary of Thang Long-Hanoi,” said one the festival’s organizers Nguyen Thi Hoa.

Unfortunately, recent flooding in Hanoi has destroyed most of the city’s flower fields, so the festival will have to present flowers from neighbouring provinces and from the “land of flowers“ in Da Lat.

“That is our biggest regret, that we can’t use flowers from Hanoi for a festival taking place in Hanoi,” she said.

The festival’s organizer, Hanoi-based DC Music and Entertainment, will spend around VND 2 billion (USD 117,000) on the festival.