Festive atmosphere at Thăng Long Imperial Citadel on the inauguration of the “Memories of Hanoi” programme

On the evening of 30 December, the programme “Memories of Hanoi” organized by the Hanoi Department of Tourism to welcome in the new year 2016 was inaugurated with great excitement at Thăng Long Imperial Citadel. The programme was held on a large scale, aiming to reconstruct the beautiful cultural traditions of the capital city and bring them to the local visitors and elsewhere.


Ca trù performance (Photo courtesy: Lam Khánh/TTXVN)

Set amidst the colourful setting of the World Heritage Site of Thăng Long Imperial Citadel, the programme “Memories of Hanoi” is expected to revitalize the good old cultural traditions of Thăng Long of yore.

One can trace back the ancient traits of the Hanoi Citadel gates, the trams, the antique markets, the streets and guilds of different professions and the street music performances.

Besides, there are also examples of the bonsai & penjing art, craft products of Thăng Long people, the renowned Hà Nội culinary traditions, exhibitions of the old Hanoi costumes, the folk festivals of Thăng Long-Hà Nội and the art of flower arrangement.

Especially noteworthy is the section for installation art where the old quarters of Hanoi is reconstructed with streets whose names start with the word “Hàng” (literally ‘guild’) such as Hàng Đào, Hàng Gai, Hàng Đồng, Hàng Khay, Hàng Trống or other related streets like Lãn Ông, Bát Đàn, Cầu Gỗ, etc.

The old streets of Hanoi are recreated in their entirety, from the manual work of the artisans to the peddlers, the flowers carried on bicycles, the portrait artists and the pen-carvers, etc.

The section “Flea Markets of Old Hanoi” introduces hundred-year-old antiques that many people never thought exist until today. Each of the objects on sale in the market is like a piece of zigsaw of the old memories. This is  place for nostalgia where people come and look for the memories of their past.

Visitors to the site can also experience traditional folk games and take part in the making of the traditional toys. According to Ms Nguyễn Thị Mai Anh from the organizing committee, in order to prepare for this programme, the committee has trained its members how to make toys like masks, leaf grasshoppers, or the board game ô ăn quan (literally Mandarin Square Capturing), chơi chuyền (bamboo jacks) so that they can help visitors, especially children to have a real experience.

The programme “Ký ức Hà Nội” is also coupled with artistic performances like the popular xẩm chợ, the classical ca trù, musical instruments, street music or calligraphy.

Ms Nguyễn Thị Ngoan, Head of the Chanh Thôn Ca trù Club of Phú Xuyên district, Hanoi, joyously shares that the members of the club have performed for five consecutive days. Earlier, they had trained for a whole month and were all very eager to introduce the traditional cultures to the public and visitors.

The “Memories of Hanoi” programme features exhibition and installation arts, decorations and cultural activities, in addition to a welcome ceremony for the first international guest setting foot in Hanoi in 2016.

The opening ceremony was held in a cheerful atmosphere with performances, songs, dances that sing praises of the traditions of Thăng Long in the days of yore.

Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Đỗ Đình Hồng, Director of the Hanoi Department of Tourism expressed his firm belief that through this programme, the tourism sector of Hanoi will be able to create more unique and culturally rich tourism products in the coming time in order to appeal more to the visitors, domestic and foreign alike, establishing a foothold for the capital city and the country in general in the international market.

“Memories of Hanoi” is expected to attract a big turnout of visitors and will last until 4 January 2016.

Đinh Thị Thuận (VNA/Vietnam+)

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