VietNamNet Bridge – The lantern is a traditional handicraft product of Hue Ancient Capital, however the lantern is losing its position in Hue’s market. The lantern is now being used from Hoi An to Da Nang and China. Hoping to restore the traditional craft, a lantern-making facility called Co Do in the city has improved the quality of their products.
The facility has create new styles of lanterns featuring characters of Hue culture that contribute to affirming the distinctive brand of Hue lanterns and promote Hue culture to domestic and international visitors.
On the days adjacent to the Mid-Autumn Festival, the working atmosphere at Co Do has become lively. According to Nguyen Ngoc Man, who runs the facility, they had shipped around 1,000 lanterns each month, and during some festivals such as Mid-Autumn Festival or the fifteenth day of the fourth lunar month, the number of lanterns would double.
Man shared that the craft was a traditional trade of his family. His paternal grandfather participated in making lanterns at the Imperial Palace in Hue. However, the craft was interrupted. Man and eight brothers in his family determined to restore the family’s traditional craft.
Aiming to attract customers, the facility has researched and created new designs from traditional lanterns. There are currently 40 different designs of Hue lanterns available at the facility, fetching VND30,000 (US$2) to VND5 million (US$235) each, according to the owner.
Ten years later, Co Do’s lanterns have won the hearts of domestic and foreign tourists, thanks to their eye-catching and diverse designs and colours, and especially their unique beauty.
Hue lanterns are made of bamboo, pinewood and silk and it is these environmentally friendly materials that make the products acceptable to the most difficult markets, such as the US, Japan, Republic of Korea (RoK) and Singapore.
Along with the Co Do facility, a series of other locations such as those at Bao La, Boi Tran and Tre Viet are contributing to reviving the craft in Hue.
The People’s Committee of central Thua Thien-Hue Province has decided to invest VND9 billion to restore and develop its traditional craft villages between 2014 and 2015. Apart from creating jobs and improving income for the local people, traditional craft villages help preserve Hue’s cultural identity and boost provincial tourism.