ClockMonday, 24/06/2024 18:52

From Hue Festival 2024, reflections on Perfume River festival space

TTH.VN - Once again, the legendary Perfume River continues to be the highlight and main space of the Hue International Arts Festival Week 2024, with the theme "Cultural heritage with integration and development".

"It's amazing that we came to this festival"Bringing the Festival to patients

 Lantern Festival on the Perfume River during Hue Festival Week. Photo: Ngoc Hoa

An unforgettable impression of the Hue International Arts Festival Week 2024 is the Perfume River on the night of the Lantern Festival organized by the Executive Board of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha in Thua Thien Hue Province, an activity in response, simultaneously promotion of  Hue Buddhist culture to the public and tourists.

The sacred rituals held at Nghinh Lương Đình (A house for the King to rest and cool off during the hot summer weather) in the north were followed by the image of 20 boats leaving the wharf and moving towards the midstream to release about 30,000 lanterns into the legendary Huong Giang River, shimmering in the night of the Ancient Capital, carrying prayers for the national peace, favorable weather, peace and happiness for everyone.

Also at Nghinh Lương Đình on the Perfume River, just one day beforehand, the Vegetarian Cuisine Festival was organized by the Charity Board of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha of Thua Thien Hue Province in coordination with accompanying units.

On a scale of 36 booths and 45 participating units, with more than 72 dishes from famous hotels, restaurants, and pagodas in the province, the Vegetarian Food Festival allowed tourists and Hue people to experience the sophistication and ingenuity of Hue vegetarian cuisine. Each dish was not only delicious but also bore the cultural and artistic imprint of the Ancient Capital.

Both the opening and closing ceremonies of Hue International Arts Festival Week 2024 take place at Kien Trung Palace - the Citadel.  Also inside the Citadel, there will be the Festival of Light, the Royal Palace Dinner, the Royal Night Culinary Show, or the music program "Trinh Cong Son Dialogue - Love Found". However, that does not mean that the Huong Giang River is any less jubilant and bustling as the festive atmosphere here is perceived during the Hue International Arts Festival Week 2024.

Compared with 2 years back, on the south bank of the Perfume River during the Hue International Arts Festival Week 2024, there are only 2 art performance stages left, on February 3 Park and Quoc Hoc Stele Park. However, with the urban infrastructure system gradually being completed, creating many new highlights associated with embellished parks, ironwood bridges north of the river, and a system of walking paths, the south bank of the Perfume River turns into a tourist destination, becoming vibrant and bustling during the Hue Festival.

The first Hue Festival exactly 24 years ago is recalled. Over the past 20 years, the Perfume River and Hue Festival have apparently had a hidden charm, increasingly finding each other, from traditional boat races, and flower lanterns... to new creations such as the Ao Dai Festival,  Legendary Perfume River, etc. Then, during the peak week of the Summer Festival of Hue Festival 2022, the Perfume River and its banks turned into a gathering place.

It is recollected that during the Hue Festival 2008, a festival was held, called "The Legendary Perfume River", bringing tourists back to an ancient space, imbued with the beauty of traditional culture and the nostalgia for the once-golden royal court. It is unforgettable that the 15 km-long river turned into a large stage with 18 performance points. Leaving the boat wharf at the Minh Mang Mausoleum, the fleet of boats with the king's boat and 20 dragon boats including 500 tourists made a journey on the Perfume River.

Joining for the first time in Hue Festival, with a deeper significance, the organizers wish the Festival program "Legendary Perfume River" to become a typical and attractive tourism product of Hue City in the long run.

From the legendary Perfume River, many festivals and art programs were launched. For example, the main festival “Thiên hạ Thái Bình” (The world in peace) at Hue Festival 2012 with a stage located next to the romantic Perfume River, between Truong Tien Bridge and Phu Xuan Bridge, was built from the idea of unity, peace, and prosperous people.

Or, Hue Festival 2018 with an art program included the activities of "Echoes of the Perfume River" such as watercolor paintings of river landscapes, portraits, a corner of a small fishing village, a banyan tree, wells, communal courtyards along with the love, life, and fishing labor of Hue people.

It was not until the 2024 Hue International Arts Festival Week that it was possible to envisage the formation of a festival space for this national and international event. That is the Hue Citadel with festivals and art programs characterized by "royal court", "auditorium" and both banks of the Perfume River, where performances and response activities meet. Anyone can stop by to watch and experience without being separated by fences and without buying tickets.

That festival space has not yet been restricted, but on the journey of " the Legendary  Perfume River",  it can be unexpectedly extended and expanded.

Story: Dan Duy
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