After confirming that there will be no fireworks shows for the upcoming Tet
holiday, which is just a few weeks away, the city of Hanoi is now asking churches and temples to all ring their bells at the same time on Lunar New Year's Eve.
To Van Dong, director of Hanoi's culture department, said the bells across the city will "herald the new year for everyone."
He reaffirmed that all fireworks displays, which used to be a mainstay of Vietnam's biggest holiday, will be replaced by other cultural events and free performances.
The Year of the Rooster will start on January 28. The country will celebrate with a seven-day break, from January 26 to February 1.Hanoi and other major cities are following the government's call for austerity. The capital city said by scrapping fireworks shows for both New Year's Eve and Lunar New Year's Eve, sponsors could save around VND10 billion (US$440,000), which could then be donated to disaster-hit provinces.
The Tet festival is usually an occasion for visiting others and offering greetings and gifts. This year, the country's top leaders have prohibited gift giving among officials.