Culture Culture

18/01/2020 - 16:29

The Imperial Palace set up Cay Neu (Neu pole) to welcome Tet

On the morning of January 17th (23rd day of the Twelfth month in Lunar calendar), Hue Monuments Conservation Center held Cay Neu setting up ceremonies at three sites in Hue’s heritage compound.

The procession is entering through Hien Nhon gate. Photo: Thanh Toan

Nguyen Binh, the poet, recalled the Tet holiday feelings of Vietnamese people through the verses: “Tết đến mẹ tôi vất vả nhiều” (As Tet’s coming, my mother would be more hardworking) / “Mẹ tôi lo liệu đủ trăm điều” (She cared for hundreds of things) / “Sân gạch tường vôi người quét lại” (She had people clean the brick court and repainted the lime wall) / “Vẽ cung trừ quỷ, trồng cây nêu” (Drew arches to eliminate demons and set up the Tet pole).

Setting up Neu pole is a special ritual before the Lunar New Year (Tet), marking that Tet has come. Under the Nguyen dynasty, people carefully selected a bamboo for Neu pole, which was solid and straight with a cluster of leaves left at its top. The emperor commanded the Neu pole be set up at Thai Hoa palace, while his courtiers, princes, and chief ministers were in charge of setting up Neu pole at temples and shrines. The original purpose was to celebrate the New Year, then to worship the spirits to bless the royal members for a safe year, and to wish for ancestors’ blessing for their descendants. The royal court erected set up Neu pole also to pray for favorable weather and a good year of business for the people.

In recent years, the Neu setting up Ceremony at Hue Royal Palace has been restored and held by Hue Monuments Conservation Center annually on the 23rd day of the Twelfth month (Lunar calendar). Based on royal materials, the center has built a ritual script of the Neu pole setting up Ceremony, which creates both a highlighting activity and a joyful atmosphere at the beginning of the Lunar New Year.

Some of the beautiful views were captured during the Neu setting up ceremony on the morning of the 23rd day of the Twelfth month as follows:

Ritual offering before setting up Neu pole in front of Long An palace. Photo: Bao Minh

Land Lord ritual ceremony before setting up Neu pole. Photo: Thanh Toan

The procession is passing Ngo Mon Gate. Photo: Thanh Toan

The high Neu is located in front of The Mieu Temple. Photo: Bao Minh

Story: Dong Van