The biennial Festival Hue to be held next month will focus on reviving royal and folk festivals that evoke the glorious past of the former imperial capital.
Heritage in the course of Integration and
Development” this year, and scheduled for
June 3-11, it will open with a fireworks
display by French pyrotechnic artist Pierre
Performances by foreign art troupes and folk
games too will be part of the opening
The Dem Hoang Cung (Imperial Nights)
program, on June 3, 6 and 9, will showcase
the charm of the royal palace at night
through performances of nha nhac – the Hue
court music that was proclaimed a
Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible
Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO – royal
dance, Hue folk music and Hue classical
Visitors will also have the chance to
discover royal culinary delights and enjoy
activities like the tea ceremony and poetry
contest which were held especially for the
Nguyen Kings and their court.
The Nguyen Dynasty was Vietnam’s last feudal
regime, ruling from 1802 to 1945.
This year’s festival will also feature the
Nam Giao prayer rituals that honor Heaven
and the Earth, pray for national solidarity
and auspicious weather, and symbolize the
harmony between humans and nature.
The rituals, which comprise two parts, Le
Xuat Cung and Le Te Nam Giao, will be a
vivid and faithful reenactment of the
ceremony conducted by Nguyen Kings for over
People from eight traditionally rich
villages and communes in Hue will, on behalf
of people the country over, perform the
rituals at eight altars in Phuong Dan, one
of the floors in the Nam Giao relic site,
making the event different from past years.
Ao dai fashion show
A show featuring a collection of ao dai, the
traditional tunic, will be another highlight
of this year’s festival.
The theme of this year’s collection, titled
Dau xua (Vestiges of old times), is Hue’s an
and trien (official seals).
The ornately decorated, resplendent ao dai
on the rich Toan Thinh silk reflect the
beauty of Hue’s tangible and intangible
heritages and remind beholders of opulent
royal ladies of the past.
A large number of colorful kites made by
artisans around the country for the
Hanoi-Hue-Saigon kite competition earlier
this year will be on display.
The festival will close with a dazzling
fireworks display and performances in
different venues around the city including
Ky Dai, Ngo Mon (Noon Gate) Square – the
main gate to the forbidden citadel in Hue –
and Ngu Phung, another of the relic site’s
For the first time
The reenactment of court exams in martial
arts is one of several events featured for
the first time in the festival.
Besides Van Mieu – Hanoi’s Temple of
Literature, Vietnam’s first university –
King Minh Mang, who ruled from 1820 to 1840,
also established Vo Mieu (the Temple of
Martial Arts) to honor people making
remarkable contributions to the country.
The court held three martial arts exams,
each of which lasted a month and comprised
The exams conferred doctorates on 12
persons, and the successful candidates also
had their names inscribed on steles at the
The event will be held at Nghenh Luong Dinh,
where the Nguyen Kings used to relax along
the Huong (Perfume) river.
The reenactment of the final round that will
feature martial arts performances by artists
from traditional sects around the country is
likely to be an awesome spectacle for
The local government will hold a ceremony
June 3 to announce the recognition of Hue as
a “festival city.”
Hue, which was also the seat of the Thuan
Hoa-Phu Xuan-Hue kingdom many centuries ago
and was recognized by UNESCO as a world
cultural heritage site in 1993, has become a
major tourist attraction in the central
Since the Festival Hue was organized for the
first time in 2000, the Thua Thien-Hue
Province government has made great efforts
to develop the former feudal capital into a
Reported by Bui Ngoc Long