Vietnam kick-starts New Year with fireworks, congestion

By Thanh Nien Staff, Thanh Nien News

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Tens of thousands of people in three big cities crowded downtown areas on the New Year's Eve for countdown shows

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 A family walk along Nguyen Hue pedestrian street in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, a few hours before the New Year.
 Opened in May, the walking street has soon become a favorite location for not only foreign tourists but local people. Since Christmas, the street has been ablaze with extensive lighting systems.
 Nguyen Hue - Ton Duc Thang crossroads are crowded with thousands of people at 11 p.m.
 A man carries a little girl on his shoulders to watch fireworks on Mai Chi Tho Street, which is located on the downtown area's outskirts and still crowded, nonetheless.
 Young people celebrate the New Year with their friends.
 Some come with their family.
 For others, nothing is better than start the New Year with their boyfriend or girlfriend.
 Ho Chi Minh City celebrates the New Year with 15-minute long fireworks.
 Da Nang City celebrates the New Year's Eve with fireworks on the beach for the first time ever.
 The 10-minute displays start at 9 p.m., so they are not as crowded as in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
 A total of 176 firework devices are divided into 13 groups along the Da Nang beach.
 People and vehicles crowd the Sword Lake in Hanoi a few hours before the New Year.
 Foreigners also join the celebration.
 A family wait for fireworks in Hanoi.
 Shopping center Trang Tien Plaza is blazed with hundreds of lights.
 Not everyone goes downtown for celebration. This woman walks her bicycle through congestion to sell fake flowers.
 Dinh Tien Hoang Street is crowded with foreigners and locals.
 Vietnamese never go a day without traffic jam, especially not on the New Year's Eve.

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