UNCLE HO AND THE TREE PLANTING FESTIVAL
The Tree Planting festival, launched by Uncle Ho in the spring of 1959, has continued for over 60 years and is beloved by people in all parts of the country. Every year, when spring comes, people and governments everywhere organize a tree-planting festival according to Uncle Ho's will.
Spring is the tree planting festival season
Making the country more beautiful
Uncle Ho created fifteen articles and speeches to promote the tree-planting festival. In his speech addressed to the political class of middle and high school teachers in the North on September 14, 1958, Uncle Ho identified that planting trees, like planting people, is a job that creates essential benefits and a long-term reality to serve life: "For the benefit of ten years, we must plant trees. For the benefit of a hundred years, we should cultivate people".
On November 28, 1959, President Ho Chi Minh, under the pseudonym Tran Luc, wrote an article, "The tree-planting festival", published in People's Newspaper No. 2082. Uncle Ho officially initiated and launched the tree-planting movement. On May 9, 1961, talking to people on Co To Island, Hai Ninh (Quang Ninh) advised that "planting many fruit trees, trees for timber, and trees to prevent wind is necessary. Planting trees will benefit our people and make our country more beautiful".On January 20, 1965, in the article "Let's warmly celebrate the tree-planting festival", published in the Ha Dong newspaper, he wrote: "To build a new countryside, the first task of new rural areas is to rebuild houses properly. To do that, you must plant many good trees from now on to get wood. That alone is enough to see the need to promote the tree-planting festival".During his lifetime, Uncle Ho had many articles and speeches about planting trees and took specific actions to set an example for everyone to follow. In 1960, Uncle Ho participated in a tree-planting ceremony with the people of the Capital in Thong Nhat Park, Hanoi. In 1961, Uncle Ho and the youth delegates of the Capital came to plant trees to beautify the Capital at the youth flower garden. On February 3, 1963, he visited and participated in the unified tree planting association with the people of Dong Anh district.
President Ho Chi Minh planted a Banyan Tree at Thong Nhat Park to launch the Tree Planting Festival (January 11, 1960).
In particular, on the morning of the first day of 1969, the Year of the Rooster, although his health was much weaker, Uncle Ho attended to wish a New Year tribute and planted souvenir trees at Vat Lai Hill, Ba Vi. Accompanying Uncle Ho was comrade Nguyen Luong Bang and Major General Pham Kiet. That day, the leaders of the Party, the provincial, district, and Vat Lai commune and many people met Uncle Ho to wish him good health and a long life. The people of Vat Lai commune were delighted and excited to meet Uncle Ho. Uncle Ho, his comrades, and the people of Vat Lai commune planted a Banyan Tree, opening the 10th and last Tree Planting Festival for Uncle Ho.
Uncle Ho planted a Banyan Tree on Dong Vang Hill, Yen Bo village, Vat Lai commune, Ba Vi district on February 16, 1969 (the first day of the Year of the Rooster)After planting the tree, Uncle used a watering can to water the tree. Uncle Ho instructed the people to take good care of the tree, not let it die or stunt, and told them not to make the engraved stele too big so they could use the saved money to do other things for the people. Uncle Ho stayed and talked with the people of Vat Lai commune for a long time, so Dong Vang Hill was later called "Tree Hill to welcome Uncle Ho".The watering can used by Uncle Ho is now being displayed, kept and preserved by the Hanoi Museum. It is a souvenir of Uncle Ho with the people of Ba Vi district. It represents many contemporaneous artefacts that Uncle Ho and our people used to take care of plants, make bare hills green, and protect the landscape and ecology of the environment and natural resources.
Since 2004, Dong Vang Hill has been a national historical-cultural relic site for the traditional education of the people, cadres and soldiers to follow the moral and ideological example of Ho Chi Minh.
Since Uncle Ho passed away more than 50 springs ago, the New Year tree planting movement launched by Uncle Ho has become a new custom among the people. The Banyan Tree that Uncle Ho planted in the past is now tall, green and covered with a wide canopy with nine branches spreading out in all directions, which, according to the Vat Lai people, is called the "dragon" shape, radiating shade all year round.