Friday 30th April
Just a quick update on something we got to experience last night…
April 30, 1975 was the day in which the Nth Vietnamese over took Saigon in the war. So April 30 2010 was 35 years since that happened and the people of Hanoi were out to celebrate the day (kind of like the Nth Vietnam Independence Day). Part of the Old Quarter here in Hanoi consist of Hoan Kiem Lake, we went down there last night to check out what we believed was going to be a fireworks display to celebrate the Independence Day. As we walked down to the lake we realised just how big this event was for the people of Hanoi, there were thousands of people everywhere.
We ventured down to the lake after catching a bit of the performers on stage, certainly a tough job trying to get a lakeside seat (the fireworks was for the people of Hanoi not tourists so we decided to take a back seat and let the locals celebrate in the front row). The fireworks themselves were, not surprisingly, awesome – our expectations for what the Vietnamese could do with gunpowder were easily met. We got a good 30 minute display of a huge number of fireworks.
I’ve uploaded a 2min video of the action here too. It was a pretty awesome thing to be part of, it was quite humbling standing amongst the locals who were all cheering and clapping at many of the fireworks – a sign that the display really meant a lot to each and everyone of them. This was their big night and we felt almost alien, although very welcome to be there (we got plenty of smiling “Hello’s” from the locals). Great experience and a nice way to further understand the Vietnamese culture.