Calligraphy couplets were an indispensable part of the Vietnamese Lunar New Year in the past.
Today the tradition is kept alive as people flock to the Spring Calligraphy Festival held at the Temple of Literature in Hanoi to ask for calligraphic writings.
Under the theme of “Accomplishment and Virtue”, this year’s festival highlights the importance of cultivating virtue along with developing talent as part of the Vietnamese educational tradition.
The festival takes place at an elaborately designed space that resembles a traditional rural village in northern Vietnam.
The festival witnesses the attendance of 52 calligraphers who are qualified after they had previously taken and passed an aptitude test.
Asking for lucky Chinese characters at the start of a new year is an age-old Vietnamese custom, reflecting the country’s respect and acknowledgement for learning as well as wishing and hoping for a year of health and prosperity.
Wishes for a peaceful and happy new year are manifested in elegant brushstrokes.
Nguyen Thi Duc, one of the few female calligraphy artists at the festival.
Foreign visitors express their keen interest in the Vietnamese tradition of asking for lucky Chinese characters.
A kid rejoices after being given a Chinese character meaning wisdom at the festival.
As part of the festival, there are also other cultural activities such as an exhibition of more than 50 Han-Nom and Latin calligraphic works, and the promotion of traditional handicraft products and folk games.