The annual Spring Festival held on the Ba Mountain in the southern province of Tay Ninh opened last Wednesday and will last until February 25, Lao Dong newspaper reported February 13.
Also known as Ba Den (Black Lady), it is said to be the highest mountain in the southern region at 886 meters above sea level.
Legend has it that the mountain is named after a young woman named Denh who was called Den (Black). To avoid a marriage being forced on her, she left her house and entered a monastery on the mountain, where she lived until her death. Later, during the reign of the Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945), her statue was cast in black bronze and placed in the Linh Son Thanh Mau (Sacred Mountain Saint) temple for worship.
The Ba Mountain Festival attracts hundreds of thousand of devotees and tourists every year. Cable cars take them from the foot of the mountain to the middle, where the Linh Son Thanh Mau Temple is located. The pagoda offers vegetarian meals to visitors. Tourists can feel free to eat and make whatever donations they want to the temple.
On the occasion of the 2013 Lunar New Year that fell on February 10, local authorities opened a new cable car system based on European technology.
The new system, which cost VND208 billion (9.9 million), is 1,100 meters long and has 37 cabins. It can transport 1,800 persons per hour. It is operated alongside the old system built in 1998, thus reducing the waiting time for guests.
The number of tourists to the Ba Mountain has been increasing around 8 percent each year for several years now. The mountain attracted 2.2 million people last year and is expected to welcome around 2.3 million this year.
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