Vietnam's capital holds millennium party

Vietnam's capital holds millennium party

Painted in red and draped with propaganda slogans, Vietnam's capital turned 1,000 years old in an extravagant ceremony meant to stoke nationalism and show the outside world how far this once war-ravaged country has advanced.

More than 30,000 people marched in Vietnam's biggest-ever parade today, with goose-stepping soldiers, colourful dancing dragons and 10 military helicopters displaying huge Communist Party and Vietnamese flags.

The procession, a third of which was military, started today in Hanoi's historic Ba Dinh Square where former President Ho Chi Minh declared independence from the French colonialists 65 years ago.

Mr Ho's massive granite mausoleum provided the backdrop for the festivities.

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