New Year calendar honours Việt Nam's national treasures

October, 03/2022 - 08:43
National Political Publishing House has launched a daily wall calendar for 2023 featuring images of hundreds of national treasures.
Some of the 238 national treasures that are featured in the 2023 New Year calendar. Photo courtesy of National Political Publishing House

HÀ NỘI — National Political Publishing House has launched a daily wall calendar for 2023 featuring images of hundreds of national treasures.

The 356-page tear-off calendar is among three special calendars which the house is printing for the coming year.

Each page includes images and information of the national treasures to introduce an overview of the history, culture and daily life of Vietnamese over the last thousands of years.

"The treasures are kept in different places in the country," said Nguyễn Thái Bình, from the publishing house. "We have to ask for permission to access them and take photos. The calendar making takes time and we also receive support from relevant bodies, experts and scientists to finish."

The calendar is designed with the two favourite colours of red and yellow which symbolise luck and prosperity in the new year.

National treasures include the Ngọc Lũ bronze drum, artefacts from the 11th to 15th centuries, 82 stone steles at Văn Miếu Quốc Tử Giám (Literature Temple), 24 paintings and others.

The Ngọc Lũ bronze drum was recognised as a national treasure in 2012.

It was made by the Đông Sơn culture, 2,000 to 2,500 years ago and was discovered during a dam construction in Hà Nam Province in 1893. In April 1903, the drum was collected by the French School of Asian Studies and kept at Louis Finot museum. It is now in the Việt Nam National Museum of History.

People look at the national treasure-themed calendar at the launching ceremony. Photo dangcongsan.vn

The calendar also highlights paintings. One of them is Em Thúy (Little Thúy) by Trần Văn Cẩn in 1943. Little Thúy stands out among many oil paintings by the graduates of the French Indochina Fine Arts College and is the best of Trần Văn Cẩn, who graduated top of his 1937 class.

Painted in oil with western techniques and materials, the portrait of little Thúy describes the oriental spirit, according to the Ministry of Culture’s archive.

Critics often show that Little Thúy was typical, if not the best, of the portraits painted in the first half of the 20th century.

The calendar makers aim to honour Vietnamese national treasures and encourage people to keep the habit of hanging wall calendars in their home as a feature of Vietnamese traditional culture.

Historian Dương Trung Quốc said that the calendar is an "encyclopedia of national treasures” that will help Vietnamese people understand the national treasures better and be more conscious of preserving them.

“Hanging the calendar in the home will contribute to popularise and promote heritage protection in each family and each locality. It also provides the image and the information for research and study," said Quốc at the calendar launching ceremony in Hà Nội recently.

The calendar will be displayed at book fairs in Germany and the US.

The publishing house will publish two other calendars with the themes of national islands and seas, and the great solidarity of Vietnamese 54 ethnic groups. VNS

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