Saigon to celebrate lantern festival at tallest tower

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A week-long lantern display at Ho Chi Minh City's tallest building will showcase the work of local amateur and professional artists in celebration of the Mid-Autumn Festival.

The display on the 49th floor of the 68-story Bitexco Tower began last Sunday as Vietnamese prepare for the holiday festival (Tet Trung Thu in Vietnamese) on September 30, which entails the lighting of traditional lanterns at homes and businesses.

The "Lantern Galore" display will overlook the city on the Saigon Skydeck.

The 200 lanterns on display will be chosen from those designed, built and submitted by members of the public.

The lanterns need to be handmade from any material except plastic. They must be between 30 and 100 centimeters high, lit with batteries or non-smoke candles, and have the makers' names and cell phone numbers clearly labeled.

The designer of the most impressive lantern will receive a pair of Adidas sneakers worth VND3 million (US$144) and a voucher for dinner for two at Strata restaurant on the 50th floor of the building.

Second prize is a pair of Adidas sneakers with a voucher for dinner for two at Hogsbreath Cafe on the ground floor. Third prize is Adidas sneakers with a voucher for dinner for two at Elle Café on the ground floor.

There will be ten fourth prizes awarded, each being an Adidas bag worth more than VND800,000.

Participants whose lanterns are selected also have the privilege of entering the Skydeck for free, instead of paying for tickets to the exhibition, which cost VND300,000 ($14) for adults or VND230,000 ($11) for children.

Children visiting the event on the festival night will also receive gifts from D'art Chocolate.

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