On the 8th day of the first lunar month, people flock to a unique market in Vu Ban district in the northern province of Nam Dinh to wish for a prosperous and lucky new year. 

The suspension followed Vu Ban District authorities’ proposal sent to the provincial People’s Committee. 

Nam Định dừng tổ chức phiên chợ Viềng 2021

According to popular belief, anything bought at the market, which opens every year at midnight on the 7th and only remains open through the 8th, will bring good luck to the customer for the whole year.

The once-a-year spring market displays handicrafts, antiques and modern reproductions, utensils, agricultural tools, and many varieties of ornamental plants.

Antiques and reproductions attracted the largest number of visitors. 

The most popular thing to buy is the roasted veal. It is considered the essential gift from Vieng market, no matter how high the price.

Nam Định dừng tổ chức phiên chợ Viềng 2021
Nam Định dừng tổ chức phiên chợ Viềng 2021
Nam Định dừng tổ chức phiên chợ Viềng 2021
 

The cheapest items at Vieng are the flowers and trees, which bring both the buyer and seller happiness and good luck.

From around 2am, deals are done under the light of candles or flash-lights. Deals are agreed quickly as people believe it keeps the luck.

Visitors can then go to local temples and pray for a happy new year.

Vieng market is also a place to relax and meet people. Perhaps lovers will find each other here and have an auspicious future.

Legend has it that Vieng market is linked to Nguyen Minh Khong, who introduced copper casting to the area, so people believe it is good luck to buy something made of copper at Vieng market on the day of the festival.

The Vieng market is part of the Phu Day Temple site which worships the Mother Goddess Lieu Hanh. The market is surrounded by the Mother Mausoleum, the King Temple, Long Van Pagoda, Cao Pagoda, Tien Huong Palace, Van Cat Palace and Ong Khong Temple. Built in the 19th century, these sites have been officially recognised as cultural and historical site.

Last year, Vieng Market was held, but the visitor number was lower than usual. One week after the market opening, Nam Dinh Province also decided to cancel the ritual of opening the royal seal at Tran Temple Festival as part of Covid-19 prevention efforts.

Thai Binh

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