|Rites of past ages: Actors play members of the royal court, including the king and mandarins, performing rituals at Xa Tac Platform yesterday. — VNS Photo Phuoc Buu.
THUA THIEN-HUE (VNS) — Thua Thien-Hue authorities last night re-enacted a ceremony that served as a national celebration under the Nguyen dynasty in the former royal capital city of Hue.
The ritual ceremony was conducted at Xa Tac (Nation) Platform located 2km west from the Imperial Palace.
A formal procession of kings and mandarins travelled from the palace to the pavilion for the rituals, with elephants, horses and people dressed in the feudal style of the Nguyen dynasty (1802-1945).
Around 550 actors and 100 locals took part in the procession, with bands playing royal court music.
Locals and tourists had a chance to view the procession on several roads near the palace. People also lit incense at the platform after the main ceremony, which took place from 8-10pm.
After founding the dynasty in 1802, the early kings built the Xa Tac Platform using dozens of soil types brought to Hue from different parts of the country, making the platform represent the whole country.
The ceremonies have been re-enacted several times since 2008 at the biannual festival with a local actor performing the role of a king.
Researcher Ho Tan Phan told Viet Nam News that the ceremony used to be presided over by a king, but now the country is a democracy, the role is given to a commoner.
"I agree that the ceremony should be presided over by a commoner, but it carries national spiritual importance so the State President would be best," Phan said, adding that collecting soil from the Spratly and Paracel islands would add extra meaning to the ceremony. —VNS