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Temple of Literature displays photos of Tet during Nguyen Dynasty

A photo exhibition featuring Lunar New Year during the Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945) is being held at Van Mieu Quoc Tu Giam (The Temple of Literature). 

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A photo from Imperial Archives of Nguyen Dynasty is shown at the exhibition at Van Mieu Quoc Tu Giam.

The exhibition Cung Đình Đón Tết (Tet in The Palace) shows about 80 photos and documents about the royal celebration of Lunar New Year.

The items are selected from the Imperial Archives of the Nguyen Dynasty, which were recognised by UNESCO in 2017 as a Memory of the World.

"Through the documents and photos, people will get to know about the Lunar New Year during the Nguyen Dynasty and the connection inside and outside the royal palace on this occasion," said Dang Thanh Tung, head of National Archives Centre 1, at the opening ceremony. 

"The exhibition organisers hope to promote the valuable documents and cultural heritage."

The exhibition includes three topics – Ceremony to prepare for the solemn Lunar New Year; Activities at Lunar New Year’s Eve parties; and Activities at the beginning of a Lunar New Year.

Exhibits on display contribute to introducing Lunar New Year celebrations during the Nguyen Dynasty, which are very different from the contemporary festival.

The organising panel hopes that these valuable documents are useful to researchers and people interested in the field.

The exhibition is meaningful to remind people about old customs and ritual ceremonies for the Lunar New Year at the royal palace, according to chief representative of the UNESCO Office in Vietnam Michael Croft.

"Modern society is changing a lot," he said. "Many customs are gradually being forgotten, so Tet is an opportunity for us to look back." 

Tet ceremonies in the royal palace are solemn and quite different from normal, but both royal and normal people honour duty and moral values, according to Doctor Do Van Tru, Chairman of Vietnam's Heritage Association.

The month-long exhibition is held jointly by National Archives Centre 1 under the State Records Management and Archives Department and the Centre of Science and Culture Activities of Van Mieu - Quoc Tu Giam. 

It runs until February 23 at 58 Quoc Tu Giam Street.  VNS

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