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Cultural programmes to feature traditional Tet at Hue Imperial Citadel

A series of special cultural programmes recalling the atmosphere of traditional Tet (Lunar New Year) will take place at former Hue Imperial Citadel in the central province of Thua Thien Hue from January 17-31.

A ritual ceremony erecting the Cây Nêu (bamboo pole) will be held at Trieu Mieu, The Mieu shries and Long An palace in Hue Imperial Citadel on January 17 or the 23rd day of the last lunar month to announce the arrival of Tet. 

A ritual ceremony erecting the Cây Nêu (bamboo pole) will be held at Trieu Mieu and The Mieu temples and Long An Palace on January 17 or the 23rd day of the last lunar month to announce the arrival of Tet, according to the Hue Monuments Conservation Centre.

The "Ancient fragrance of Tết cakes" programme, which features chưng and tét glutinous rice cakes making competitions, is set for January 18. Meanwhile, the flag tower will be lit up and cannons will be fired on Lunar New Year's Eve, which this year falls on January 24.

The centre will offer free entry to its monuments from January 25-27, giving locals and tourists access to the former royal city. Visitors will have a chance to watch the Changing of Guards rituals at Ngo Mon Gate, dragon dances, performances of nhã nhạc (Huế royal court music), royal games and calligraphy at Thai Hoa Palace’s courtyard.

On the last day of Tet, the bamboo pole will be taken down, ending the holiday. The same day, The Mieu Temple and Long An Palace will host the khai ấn (opening royal seal) ceremony to start a new year.

In recent years, Hue has emerged in the Vietnamese tourism map as a heritage destination where traditional rituals and the culture of the Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945) have been preserved.

The Hue Imperial Citadel was recognised as a World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1993.

The former imperial capital of Vietnam for more than 100 years, is home to five UNESCO heritages, including the ancient citadel relic complex (a World Cultural Heritage site), Hue royal court music (an intangible cultural heritage item), Nguyen Dynasty’s woodblocks (a documentary heritage item), the Nguyen Dynasty’s royal administrative documents (part of the Asia-Pacific Register of UNESCO’s Memory of the World Programme), and literature on Hue royal architecture (another documentary heritage).

In 2020, the province’s tourism sector hopes to welcome 5-5.2 million visitors, 40-45 per cent of them foreigners. Total tourism revenue is expected at some VND12 trillion (US$518.7 million). VNS

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