Women wearing áo dài at a show in 2017. This year's Huế Craft Village Festival will include an áo dài show on Sunday evening. VNS Photo Phước Bửu
THỪA THIÊN-HUẾ — The city of Huế in the central province of Thừa Thiên-Huế on Friday evening commenced the seven day festival designated for traditional craft villages, artisans and craft products coming from localities across the country.
The Huế Craft Village Festival will end on May 2, offering days of craft performances, handmade product showcases, music and dance shows as well as events for traditional folk games.
Nguyễn Văn Thành, the city’s chairman and head of the festival organisers, said in a press briefing that the festival would be home to 420 artisans and craft workers during the seven festive days.
Of which, 70 people represented localities of other countries, including South Korea, Japan, Brazil and Turkey. Several of them were art troupes that would perform during the festival, Thành said.
“The festival was created for craft performers around the country but this eighth version witnesses the growing number of international guests. We’re happy that it has become a popular craft playground.”
Thành also emphasised the importance of this festival to the former royal capital city of Huế in light of boosting tourism and making Huế ‘a festival city’ in Việt Nam.
This year’s festival is the first time it showcases a traditional type of fabric made by ethnic minority groups of the K’ho and Châu Mạ, from the Central Highlands. During the week, it will host a space for audiences to get closer to the beverage recipes and herbal medicines of the Nguyễn Dynasty (1802-1945), which were once confidential to even Huế natives.
The festival’s most-awaited events include an áo dài show and the hot air balloon fiesta. Local authorities expect the áo dài show on April 28 in Ngọ Môn Square to highlight the significance of this national costume as well as affirm Huế as the birthplace of áo dài.
The gathering of colourful balloons representing the Netherlands, South Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand and Việt Nam in the hot air balloon fiesta will be an exciting part of the festival. Audiences will be able to take flights on the balloons up to heights of 300m to look down on the citadel of Huế for the first time.
Phạm Thị Quỳnh Dao, deputy head of the organisers, pledged the smart arrangement of stalls designed for the craft items. The items would be displayed in the spaces of lotus ambiance, silk area; áo dài space; herbal medicine corner; calligraphy, lantern and kite square; cells for Japanese and Korean craft; and a hall for honouring artisans and craft villages.
Visitors to the festival also get the chance to taste different kinds of foods served at a gastronomy fair as well as partake in training sessions by skilful and experienced artisans to make their own craft items. — VNS