The 1st Vietnamese Traditional Culture and International Culture Exchange Festival will be held from April 5 to 9 at Thăng Long Citadel in Hà Nội.
The festival aims to preserve and develop traditional culture and promote international friendship.
Trà Giang interviews director Vạn Nguyễn about the festival.
Could you tell us about the highlights of the 1st Vietnamese Traditional Culture and International Culture Exchange Festival?
One of the main highlights of the festival is the location. Thăng Long Citadel was built by King Lý Thái Tổ (1010-1028) in the 11th century and was the centre of political and culture for almost 13 centuries.
During the Nguyễn Dynasty (1804-1945), Thăng Long ( forrmer name of Hà Nội) remained a major economic and cultural centre. The land King Lý Thái Tổ chose as his capital is still the centre of political and culture in the country.
Very few capitals in the world have such a continuous flow of history, so it is a very special place in terms of historical and cultural heritage.
We are lucky to be holding the festival on the third day of the third lunar month which coincides with King Lý Thái Tổ’s death anniversary.
This is an important for the event. A ceremony will take place to mark the king’s death including traditional dances such as lục cúng (six-lantern worship) and chạy cờ (flag procession).
How will the festival show off Thăng Long’s cultural characteristics?
Spreading culture is one of the values of Thăng Long which we will focus on at the festival.
During the five-day festival, the public will enjoy traditional cultural events from the country’s three regions.
The opening night will be kicked off by a drum performance.
This will be followed by xẩm (blind busker) singing, a typical folk art from the northern region, and performances of the world-recognised Vietnamese intangible cultural heritages such as the northern quan họ (love duet), central Huế royal music and bài chòi songs.
How will you ensure the accuracy of the traditional elements you intend to revive at the festival?
Vietnamese culture is an endless heritage system which many scholars have tried their best to research, preserve and develop.
This festival is also a follow-up activity to preserve and promote traditional culture. We have consulted experts like Professor Lê Hồng Lý and People’s Artist Nguyễn Ngọc Phương for the festival.
What will you do to attract visitors to the festival?
The festival will have activities such as an áo dài (traditional dress) performance and a talent contest.
The Việt Nam Traditional Martial Arts Federation will perform at the festival. A puppetry show titled Hồn Quê (Hometown Soul) by former Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Vương Duy Biên will be the highlight of the festival.
The festival will include seminars on culture and rituals aimed at honouring intangible cultural heritages such as Đạo Mẫu - the Mother Goddess worship, and the Hùng Kings. — VNS