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Hue readies for 2012 festival

Update: March, 24/2012 - 09:23

Hoai Nam

 

A royal ceremony is perfomed by artists at the Hue Festival two years ago. Thua Thien- Hue Province is hastily putting the final touches to preparations for this year's biennial international festival. — VNA/VNS Photo Than Ha
DA NANG — The central city of Hue is gearing up for its biennial festival, which promises a diverse programme of performances and activities across a week of celebrations.

Held from April 7-15 this year, the festival would be the city's biggest cultural event, said vice chairman of Thua Thien-Hue Province People's Committee and head of the festival organising committee Ngo Hoa.

"This year will mark the 7th festival that the province has held every two years since 2000," said Hoa. "It has become known as one of the biggest cultural events not only for Hue, but for the whole country.

"The festival is also an opportunity to promote tourism in the province and let the world know more about the city of Hue. It's also an event to honour historical and cultural monuments of the former Royal Capital city as well its intangible heritage."

A main stage will be built in the Royal Citadel, which will host the opening ceremony that features a music and dance art performance titled Royal Citadel Night.

A series of stages will be installed outside the Royal Citadel soon for community arts performances.

According to the organising committee, a music and dance performance named Oriental Night, which was introduced in 2010, will be staged again at the Thai Hoa Palace.

"The ao dai [Vietnamese traditional long dress] show will again be a major event at the festival," said Hoa. "We will also restage some previous performances that have impressed audiences. However, we create many new shows to keep the festival fresh."

The city's hotels, with a capacity of 10,000 rooms, are bracing for a large number of tourist arrivals.

Thua Thien-Hue Province plans to host around 2.5 million foreign and domestic tourists this year, generating a total revenue of VND2,500 billion (over US$113 million) for the provincial tourism sector.

Many locals are also looking forward to the festival.

Nguyen Thi Nguyet, who lives on Hue's Nguyen Truong To Street, said she was eagerly anticipating the festival.

"It's so exciting and I've been to six festivals since 2000," she said. "This year I expect to see a colourful and extraordinary celebration.

"When the festival approaches it's such a nice atmosphere. The streets are clean and colourfully decorated ready to welcome visitors from all around the world."

This year the festival has been moved from June to April.

"We decided to host the festival earlier than usual because April is still the main holiday season in Europe, while other world events such as the European Football Championships and the London Olympics have yet to kick off," said Hoa, adding that various international science seminars would also be held in the city during April.

The city will also host the Nam Giao religious ritual, which was held during the Nguyen dynasty (1802-1945), on April 8 as part of the Hue Festival.

Nguyen Dinh Chieu Street along the Huong (Perfume) River bank will be reserved as a pedestrian street featuring a range of cuisine.

According to the festival organising committee, 36 art troupes from the US, France, Columbia, Venezuela, Argentina, Denmark, Poland, Belgium, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Israel, India, Mexico, the UK, the Philippines, Russia, Cambodia, Laos, Sri Lanka, Senegal and South Africa have registered to take part in the festival. — VNS

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