Culture Festival

28/04/2018 - 08:00

“Royal Banquet,” familiar yet new

While not as spectacular as the "Imperial Night" at previous festivals, this year’s Royal Banquet in Hue Festival 2018 promises to be a fascinating program where guests can experience firsthand Hue culture.

Tuong royal performance during the Royal Banquet

The "Royal Banquet" is one of the programs organized by Hue Monuments Conservation Centre. At this year's festival, the venue chosen for the five nights of banquets is Duyet Thi Duong Theatre (in the Citadel).

Coming to the Royal Banquet, in addition to the opportunity to enjoy the royal style dishes, visitors also have the opportunity to enjoy many Hue royal art performances and to watch an ao dai fashion show.

Except for the program "Royal Hue’s Essence" taking place at Can Chanh Palace's stage, guests participating in the "Royal Banquet" can also enjoy all of the other activities held in the Citadel at night.

There are only a few more days until Hue Festival 2018. All preparations for the Royal Banquet are now complete. According to Ms. Hoang Thi Huong, Deputy Director of Hue Monument Service Development Center, since the day this new program was developed, even when tickets had not been issued (VND1,900,000 per person), many guests had tried booking via phone and email.

In recent years, Hue Monument Service Development Center has been quite effective in connecting with tour operators and tourism service companies so that they can catch up with the demand of visitors to Hue, especially international visitors. This has helped the center to gradually create products that meet visitors' demand based on the existing advantages of Hue as a tourist destination. The "Royal Banquet" is an example of this, and it is also one of the high-end tourism products being shaped in the ancient capital.

If the royal banquets at the previous festivals served more than 500 guests, the "Royal Banquet" at Hue Festival 2018 only serves up to 80 guests per night. This number of guests is calculated to match the size of Duyet Thi Duong Theater.

It is not necessary to visit the entire Citadel in one night. Right in the warm space of Duyet Thi Duong Theatre, visitors can also see the display of masks, costumes court performances and unique instruments used in the royal bands and orchestras. Each artifact is a small story introducing the Hue imperial cultural heritage, which is also a link to traditional culture.

“It is hoped that the “Royal Banquet” will be an unforgettable experience for visitors, and that it will create a good impression of a Citadel both new and familiar,” Ms. Hoang Thi Huong said.

On a trip to Hue in 2015, American writer Carol Howland - who had been to Hue many times and had published a number of books introducing the culture and people of Vietnam - regretted not having a chance to enjoy Hue royal court music alongside the royal cuisine in Duyet Thi Duong Theatre.

For those who come to Hue from a faraway land like her own, "it is an exciting and incomparable experience," said Carol Howland. Hopefully, this festival, the enthusiastic writer will have the opportunity to return to Hue and have time to experience the "Royal Banquet.”

Story and photo: ĐỒNG VĂN