Culture Culture

02/01/2022 - 19:17

Announcing Hue Festival 2022 and recreating the Calendar distribution ceremony of the Nguyen Dynasty 

On the morning of January 1, at Noon Gate - Imperial Citadel Hue, the Provincial People's Committee organized an event to announce Hue Festival 2022.

Vice-Chairman of the Provincial People's Committee Nguyen Thanh Binh announcing Hue Festival 2022 

Activities of Hue Festival 2022 are associated with the aim of four seasons of festivities. This entails a series of festive activities stretching throughout the year to gradually develop into a new festival model, with many different forms of organization and with a combination of the tradition and contemporary. Hue Festival 2022 links and redistributes cultural and artistic activities, folk festivals, royal festivities and new festivals with high quality on a scale that is proportional to the cultural potentials and characteristics, creating an identity of the ancient capital.

Hue Festival 2022 opens with the Ban Soc or Calendar distribution ceremony which took place on January 1 at the Noon Gate and ends with the Countdown program on December 31. The highlight is a multinational art and culture festival in April, combined with several programs and festivals that already have been branded at the previous Hue Festivals.

Accordingly, Hue Festival 2022 will take place throughout 4 seasons. Spring Festival - "Spring Color Harmony" (from January to March) includes royal festivals, specific folk festivals, such as the Calendar distribution ceremony, Tet’s Pole Planting Ceremony, Huyen Tran Temple festival, Xa Tac Offering Ritual, Hue poetry festival, and the highlighted is ‘Hue - the Capital of Gastronomy’ Festival in every March.

The Summer Festival with the peak month of Hue Festival - "Cultural Heritage With Integration and Development" takes place from April 9 to 13 with the “Opening Night Event”, starting the series of art festivals which have been identified as belonging to Hue, such as Nam Giao Offering Ritual, Trinh Cong Son Music Program, Vesak Festival, Hue Lotus Festival, Ao Dai Festival ...

The Autumn Festival - "Attractive Autumn" (July-September) includes Truyen Lo Festival, Hue Unicorn Dance Festival, Ancient Capital Lantern Festival, "Old Scent - Ancient Village" festival, hip-hop festival... Hue Festival 2022 ends with the "Winter Melodies" festival (October to December) including activities: international circus festival, Hue Singing festival, winter melody music festival...

Based on the situation of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the motto of safe adaptation, flexibility, and effective disease control, events within the framework of Hue Festival 2022 will be organized appropriately and flexibly.

Speaking at the ceremony, Vice-Chairman of the Provincial People's Committee Nguyen Thanh Binh emphasized: Hue Festival 2022 activities with nearly 50 cultural events are held continuously throughout the year, implemented by domestic and international art troupes. They represent the cultural identity of the region and the country in order to exchange and cooperate in culture, honor and promote the typical cultural features of the ancient land of culture and civilization with 7 world heritages recognized by UNESCO.

Hue Festival is organized according to the orientation of four seasons of festivity, including traditional festivals from the royal court, folklore, religion, to contemporary art, and sporting events, spreadingthroughout the year, per local reality, convenient for visitors and the public to participate.

 * Recreating the Calendar distribution ceremony

Presenting the calendar into the Royal Palace

The Calendar distribution ceremony is the ancient calendar distribution ceremony of the Nguyen Dynasty, held periodically at the end of the lunar year. The ancient Vietnamese took the agricultural economy as a priority, so the calendar had a very special meaning in peoples’ lives. They used the calendar to keep track of the time, to know the weather for farming, and to respond to and prevent disaster.

The Calendar distribution ceremony was held on a large scale at the beginning of the Minh Mang Reign. Every year, after the Kham Thien Giam office finished preparing the calendar, the court held the Calendar distribution ceremony under the direction of members of the Ministry of Ceremonies and Kham Thien Giam.

The calendar was brought into the Royal Palace for use by the royal family, distributed to the mandarins in the Citadel and other localities, and distributed among the people for use.

The Calendar distribution ceremony was originally held at Thai Hoa Palace courtyard. In 1840, for the first time, the Calendar distribution ceremony was ordered by Emperor Minh Mang to be held at Ngo Mon. This year, the Calendar distribution ceremony has been recreated through the theatrical form at the Noon Gate with ancient rituals... 

Recreating the Calendar distribution ceremony is a re-enactment of the humanistic values of the ancient people and an opportunity for tourists and locals to experience the heritage of Hue Ancient Capital on New Year's Day.

Below are some images at the Calendar distribution ceremony of the Nguyen Dynasty captured by Thua Thien Hue Online:  

Reenactment of old rituals 

The Calendar distribution ceremony includes many rites: opening ceremony, the ceremony, declaring the order for the calendar distribution...

Palace servants introducing about the rituals

The Royal family and princes receiving the calendar

The calendar was also distributed to the mandarins in the capital and at the localities

The Calendar distribution ceremony is considered the beginning of the new year

Story and photos: Minh Hien