The ban flower is typical of Vietnam’s northwestern region. The flower symbolizes the culture, soul, and pride of people in Dien Bien, Son La, Lai Chau, Lao Cai, Yen Bai, and Hoa Binh province.
Targest Ban flower growing area, Dien Bien province, in recent years has held an annual ban flower festival in March to introduce its landscape, culture, and people and boost local tourism.
Taking place from March 11th to 14th this year, the festival coincides with the 5th Dien Bien Culture, Sports, and Tourism Days. It features a range of cultural and sports activities plus a special opening performance on Sunday at the May 7 Square.
Le Van Quy, Vice Chairman of the Dien Bien Provincial People’s Committee, said “The opening of the festival features a combination of the contemporary and traditional cultures of Dien Bien province and the beauty of ban flowers. There are a range of activities taking place in the city, districts, townships, and villages during the Ban Flower Festival and Dien Bien Culture and Tourism Days.”
During the Ban Flower Festival is was an exhibition featuring the culture and tradition of ethnic minorities in Dien Bien, performances of local songs, dances and musical instruments, and showcases of ethnic folk festivals and rituals.
Mr. Quy said Dien Bien province has 21 ethnic groups and each of them has its own customs and culture which create a colorful picture for the festival.
He said “At this year’s festival, we organized a number of new activities including a beauty contest which drew contestants from 8 northwestern provinces. Organizing this contest, we wanted to introduce Dien Bien, its land and people. The contest created an opportunity for 8 northwestern provinces to share experience in boosting tourism. We will also organize a series of cultural events including a celebration of the historic Dien Bien Phu victory on May 7th to attract more tourists.”
At the Ban Flower Festival, visitors were invited to sample local food including dishes made from flowers such as the ban flower salad of the Thai.
Lo Thi Tieu Oanh of Noong Chun village in Dien Bien city said “The Thai people make various dishes from ban flowers, but the most popular one is ban salad. The taste of the flower can be mixed with vegetables and bamboo shoots to create a very special flavor.”
At this time of the year, ban flowers are in bloom. Their pink and white colors and fragrance pervade the roads to Dien Bien drawing tourists to the northwestern region.