As an ancient capital of Vietnam, Hue is a famous tourist destination with a long history and culture. Take a look at our articles Discovering Hue, Vegetarian Food, and The Sacred Pagodas to get comprehensive information about traveling in Hue. You can travel to Hue any time of the year but there are definitely times that stand out among the rest. This is festival time! There are a few festivals in Hue, but this particular festival, the Hue Traditional Craft Festival is one not to miss.
Hue Festival is a famous and important festival that attracts thousands of tourists from all over the world. Read my article to find out why many tourists make it a top priority. If you have heard of Hue Festival, then you may also know that Hue Traditional Craft Festival is as famous. Hue Festival is organized every two years and the last one was in 2018. Hue Traditional Craft Festival is organized every two years as well and you’re in luck, because 2019 will see a magical craft festival. Therefore, regardless of the year, there will always be an exciting festival to check out! In this article, I will go over the ins and outs of Hue Traditional Craft Festival 2019.
The eighth Hue Traditional Craft Festival in 2019 with the theme “The Quintessence of Vietnamese Crafts” will take place from April 26th to May 2nd. Each traditional craft has a distinct exhibition with a beautiful and artistic decoration. The products exhibited in this festival include lotus, silk and brocade, ao dai, Vietnamese traditional medicine, lantern, kite, and traditional products of international cities from Japan, Korea, and China. At each exhibition, you will see how the artisans make their craft products, learn the long story about that traditional village, admire the finished products, and of course take home the ones you like. These exhibitions are held on walking streets along Huong riverbank, Chu Van An street, Pham Ngu Lao street, and Vo Thi Sau street.
Hue Traditional Craft Festival also includes Ao Dai Festival, Food Festival, International Hot Air Balloon Festival, Colorful Childhood Festival, art exhibitions, and art performances. Below, I will detail outstanding traditional craft villages exhibits and some other activities at the festival. After finishing this article, you will have a full understanding of this festival and decide which exhibitions and activities you want to prioritize.
Outstanding Exhibitions and Activities
Traditional Brocade Weaving Craft of the K’ho and Chau Ma Ethnic Group
The K’ho and Chau Ma people have created colorful and beautiful brocade products with many uses such as clothes, skirts, bags, and decoration. The weaving frame is made of wooden rods, bamboo bars, or bamboo tubes. The villagers find colors to dye their clothing around the village such as various kinds of bark, fruit, leaves, and forest plant tubers. Then, they blend dyed colors such as black, indigo, red, yellow, white, and blue on traditional textiles. With their know-how and talent, the ethnic women make high-quality brocade products which do not fade over time.
This craft will be exhibited at Silk and Brocade Space at 15 Le Loi street. Stop by to see how ethnic artisans weave brocade products and admire various beautiful brocade products. You will also notice products displayed from famous silk villages throughout the country. Moreover, let’s check out my article if you would like to know more about traditional clothes of ethnic groups in another province, Sapa.
Truc Chi Art – Trucchigraphy
Founded by Phan Hai Bang, the painter and lecturer of Hue University – College of Arts in 2011, Truc Chi Art is a new art form in Vietnam.
The paper of Truc Chi is made of many different materials available in the local area such as straw, bamboo, water fern, sugar cane, banana, and grass. In the final stage of the papermaking process, the artisan will adjust the thickness of the paper with water to create decorations directly onto the paper mold. Decorations in Truc Chi Art represent cultural icons, daily life, and beautiful landscapes in Vietnam. When a Truc Chi painting is placed under light, these decorations turn to brilliant shades of yellow.
Truc Chi Art is applied to painting, conical hats, paper fans, and night lamps. The most beautiful products will be exhibited at the festival, so it’s a great chance to admire this new art form in Vietnam.
Folk Paintings of Sinh Village
Sinh village is about nine kilometers to the east of Hue city and located in Phu Mau commune, Phu Vang district, Thua Thien Hue province. This village is known for its famous folk painting, especially worship painting. Therefore, Sinh village painting is also associated with the spiritual culture of Hue.
The paper is placed onto a wood carving to create the outline. Then, colors are handcrafted by artisans. That’s why no painting looks the same. The unique feature of Sinh’s folk painting is in the color, each painting has its own character, associated with the artist’s emotions in the process of making paintings. The colors are mainly made from natural materials such as leaves, flower buds, seeds, ash, and scallop shell.
Thanh Tien Paper Flower Village
Located along the stream of Huong River, Thanh Tien Village is located in Phu Mau commune, Phu Vang district, Thua Thien Hue province. This is a famous place for making paper flowers. The paper flower craft was created by Thanh Tien villagers more than 300 years ago. Before the lunar new year, paper flowers are inserted into trees and are carried around many villages and markets nearby so that the local people can buy these flowers for worship and decoration.
To make a flower, artisans must go through many complex stages that require patience, dexterity, and meticulousness. The bamboo is sharpened and dried to make the sprig. The papers are dyed by natural color. Then, they are meticulously trimmed and glued into a beautiful flower which is harmonious in color and composition. Orchids, lilies, roses, daisies, and especially lotus are common paper flowers made by Thanh Tien Village.
Lotus Leaf Conical Hat
The conical hat or non la in Vietnamese is a cultural icon and a part of the traditional costume of Vietnam. However, the conical hat is more artsy in Hue when it is made of the lotus leaf. This unique kind of conical hat was created by Nguyen Thanh Thao, a former student of Hue University – College of Arts, in 2017. Therefore, this is the first time that the lotus leaf conical hat will be exhibited in the Hue Traditional Craft Festival.
Most of the process of making this conical hat is the same as an ordinary conical hat. Read my article about the conical hat to understand more details. The only difference is that the last leaf layer is made of lotus leaf. Before sewing lotus leaf onto the conical frame, the artisan needs to brew lotus leaf with Javel water, a kind of bleach, then dry and iron the leaf. When completed, the lotus leaf conical hat is dominated by crawling veins and green color.
Each lotus leaf conical hat is currently priced at 250,000 VND. This price is more expensive than the ordinary conical hat because the artisan has to spend a whole day just to make one hat. There are also more products made of lotus leaves such as paintings, night lamps, fans, and lanterns.
Bamboo Weaving of Bao La Village
15 kilometers away from Hue city, Bao La Village is located in Quang Phu commune, Quang Dien district, Thua Thien Hue province. Initially, villagers took advantage of their leisure time to weave bamboo utensils which they used at home. Gradually, they sold these bamboo utensils to nearby areas which made their craft products famous.
The products of the village are made of bamboo and rattan. The skillful artisans need to go through many steps to make a complete product such as material selection, termite treatment, and weaving. For the exhibition at Hue Traditional Craft Festival 2019, the artisans have also created more high quality handicraft products such as decorative lights, miniatures of Thanh Toan bridge, Linh Mu tower, and Truong Tien bridge.
As the capital of Vietnam from the 18th to 20th century, Hue is a center of traditional medicine which has many large traditional pharmacies, famous traditional physicians, and precious remedies. At the festival, you can see the exhibition of many traditional medicine documents, brewing utensils, and herbal medicine. In particular, there will be a model of a traditional pharmacy with physicians at the exhibition. These physicians will interact with the tourists and perform their talents.
The Third Hue International Hot Air Balloon Festival
Hue International Hot Air Balloon Festival will take place in three days, from April 27th to 29th. There are five countries participating in the hot air balloon performances at the festival including Thailand, Malaysia, Japan, Netherlands, and Vietnam. Hot air balloons will fly freely at an altitude of 100 to 300 meters, within a five kilometer radius from the take off point. In addition, there is a hot air balloon hanging at a height of 50 meters to serve tourists and mini hot air balloons flying over Ky Dai Yard (Hue Citadel). With an air excursion, you will see a completely different perspective of Hue city at sunrise. Join in for a memorable experience in Hue.
With the outstanding exhibitions and activities above, you can finally understand more about Hue Traditional Craft Festival 2019. There are also more interesting exhibitions and activities at the festival that will take a few days to fully explore. Because of the huge amount of tourists during the festival, you should book your accommodation and service in advance. Pack your bag and get ready to explore the exciting festival this year.
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