Marble Mountains festival to celebrate newly-recognised documentary heritage

March 07, 2023 - 14:59
Chairman of Ngũ Hành Sơn district people’s committee, Nguyễn Hòa, announced the festival's return after a two-year suspension due to COVID-19.
Marble Mountains in Đà Nẵng stages the main events of the annual Quán Thế Âm (Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva) Festival on March 8-10. The festival is one of the 15 biggest cultural festivals in Việt Nam. — VNS Photo Công Thành

ĐÀ NẴNG — A series of cultural performances, exhibitions and folk art demonstrations will be organised at the annual Quán Thế Âm (Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva) Festival at the iconic Marble Mountains in the central city on March 8-10.

This year's festival will promote the newly-recognised documentary heritage in Asia and the Pacific on the Ma Nhai (Inscriptions) in ancient Nôm and Hán Chinese characters on the Marble Mountains.

Chairman of Ngũ Hành Sơn district People’s Committee, Nguyễn Hòa, announced the festival's return after a two-year suspension due to COVID-19.

One of the 15 biggest cultural festivals in Việt Nam, the event is key to boosting the post-COVID-19 tourism recovery plan of the city.

Sơn shared that this year's event also aims to promote the value of the world heritage of Ma Nhai after it that was recognised by the Memory of the World Committee for Asia and the Pacific (MOWCAP) last December.

Hòa, who is head of the festival’s organising committee, stressed that tourists would have the chance to explore the inscriptions, including 78 Ma Nhai steles (76 steles in Chinese and two in Nôm), that were carved on cliffs and caves at the Marble Mountains from the first half of the 17th century to the 1960s.

A cave at the Marble Mountains in Ngũ Hành Sơn District of Đà Nẵng. The site hosts an annual festival that attracts thousands of visitors. Photo courtesy of Đoàn Ngọc Thịnh

He added that the steles are unique forms with many genres such as pens, inscriptions, canopies, poetry, titles, a couplet of the kings, and mandarins of the Nguyễn Dynasty.

He hoped the event would attract visitors with its beautiful landscape and cultural heritages that were given on the Marble Mountains.

The opening ceremony will mark the Japanese-style cultural performance marking the 50th anniversary of Việt Nam-Japan diplomatic ties. At the same time, the Vạn Hạnh Buddishm Library, with 30,000 Buddhist-related documents, will be introduced.

A craftswoman completes a stone sculpture at the Non Nước stone village in Đà Nẵng. The 400-year-old craft village is an attraction to tourists. — VNS Photo Công Thành

Zen, meditation, calligraphy demonstration and Buddhism dances will be held at the main stage on Sư Vạn Hạnh Street at the foot of the mountains, the head of the organising committee added.

At the three-day festival, Vietnamese records will be given to a gold-plated leaf of a Bodhi tree and a 16-colour porcelain mosaic painting collection at the site.

The annual Quán Thế Âm Festival and the stone sculptures of the 400-year-old Non Nước stone village in the area were recognised as national intangible heritages.

The Marble Mountains landscape site, promoted as a national special relic, often draws 10,000 visitors during the main festival and 2.1 million tourists in 2019. — VNS