Mid-autumn festival celebrated in Hoi An since 14th century

Nga Do
HỘI AN - The ancient city of Hội An will apply to list its annual mid autumn festival and the traditional pottery craft of Thanh Hà Village as National intangible heritages.

Trương Chí Trung, director of the city's Centre for Cultural Heritage Management and Preservation, told Việt Nam News that the festival and the craft have Hội An roots going back over six centuries.

"The annual mid autumn festival, which has thrived since Hội An became a busy trading port in the 14th century, has been preserved among community in the city's downtown and rural area," Trung said.

"The festival, which falls on full-moon day of the lunar August, is one of the most important and sacred events among locals, whether it is organised downtown, in living quarters or in suburban villages," he said.

He added that local residents have preserved the traditional offering with lion and union dance as ancestors did in past centuries.

The festival now lures more visitors watching local residents celebrating the Full Moon Festival in front of houses on every corner of Hội An on the 14th day of the eighth lunar month.

Lanterns often light up the houses, restaurants, cafes, shops and streets of Hội An during the festival.

Candle-lit paper flowers are also be released on the Hoài River on that day.

Meanwhile, the pottery village of Thanh Hà, where terra-cotta has played as a key role in trade for generations, has become the favourite destination in Hội An city.

The village, 5km away from Hội An's downtown, fully practices the old pottery lifestyle with deep known-how.

"Thanh Hà is one of the most traditional crafts villages in central Việt Nam. The village has been a major producer of earthen pots, bowls, bricks and tiles for central Việt Nam since the 14th century," Trung said.

The village, which is seen as a living museum of pottery, offers tourists a chance to explore the trade by practicing the craft with old potters at their workshops.

He said the promotion of the festival and the craft would help promote tourism and preserve the traditional culture value of Hội An.

Last year, Kim Bồng village's carpentry craft in Hội An was recognised as a national intangible heritage.

Hội An celebrated the arrival of its 10 millionth tourist at the old quarter's Japanese Bridge last month. The UNESCO-recognised world heritage site hosted 1.6 million tourists last year, a 34 per cent increase from 2015.

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