Hue Festival is a biennial celebration that takes place in Hue City. Here you can enjoy an array of cultural events, games, and performances held over the course of a week. Founded in 2000, the festival is held to preserve the traditional customs that have been practiced since the Nguyen Dynasty.

What to expect during the festival?

Before 2022

Hue Festival is held in April, May or June every two years. It takes place at 40 venues around the city. Some of the unique events held include, the Hue Poetry Festival, Dialogue of Drums and Percussion and Ao Dai fashion shows. You can also enjoy sporting activities like kite flying, boat racing, and human chess. As Hue was the capital of Vietnam during the 19th century, the festival also hosts re-enactments of royal ceremonies, such as King Nguyen Hue’s enthronement and doctorial examinations. Street performances, film screenings, and art exhibitions are held throughout the festival week as well. Offering visitors a look into the city’s rich culture and heritage, Hue Festival is one of the most popular festivals in Vietnam.

From 2022 on

Activities of Hue Festival 2022 are associated with the aim of four seasons of festivities. This entails a series of festive activities stretching throughout the year to gradually develop into a new festival model, with many different forms of organization and with a combination of the tradition and contemporary. Hue Festival 2022 links and redistributes cultural and artistic activities, folk festivals, royal festivities and new festivals with high quality on a scale that is proportional to the cultural potentials and characteristics, creating an identity of the ancient capital.

Hue Festival 2022 opens with the Ban Soc or Calendar distribution ceremony which took place on January 1 at the Noon Gate and ends with the Countdown program on December 31. The highlight is a multinational art and culture festival in April, combined with several programs and festivals that already have been branded at the previous Hue Festivals.

Accordingly, Hue Festival 2022 will take place throughout 4 seasons:

Spring Festival - "Spring Color Harmony" (in Vietnamese: Sắc Xuân Giao Hòa) (from January to March) includes royal festivals, specific folk festivals, such as the Calendar distribution ceremony, Tet’s Pole Planting Ceremony (Lễ Thướng Tiêu), Huyen Tran Temple festival, Xa Tac Offering Ritual, Hue poetry festival, and the highlighted is ‘Hue - the Capital of Gastronomy’ Festival in every March.

The Summer Festival with the peak month of Hue Festival - "Cultural Heritage With Integration and Development" (in Vietnamese: Sắc mầu văn hóa) takes place from April 9 to 13 with the “Opening Night Event”, starting the series of art festivals which have been identified as belonging to Hue, such as Nam Giao Offering Ritual, Trinh Cong Son Music Program, Vesak Festival, Hue Lotus Festival, Ao Dai Festival ...

The Autumn Festival - "Attractive Autumn" (July-September) includes Truyen Lo Festival, Hue Unicorn Dance Festival, Ancient Capital Lantern Festival, "Old Scent - Ancient Village" (Hương xưa làng cổ) festival, hip-hop festival... 

Hue Festival 2022 ends with the "Winter Melodies" (in Vietnamese: Giao điệu mùa đông) festival (October to December) including activities: international circus festival, Hue Singing festival, winter melody music festival...

Hue Festival 2022 activities with nearly 50 cultural events are held continuously throughout the year, implemented by domestic and international art troupes. They represent the cultural identity of the region and the country in order to exchange and cooperate in culture, honor and promote the typical cultural features of the ancient land of culture and civilization with 7 world heritages recognized by UNESCO.

Hue Festival is organized according to the orientation of four seasons of festivity, including traditional festivals from the royal court, folklore, religion, to contemporary art, and sporting events, spreading throughout the year, per local reality, convenient for visitors and the public to participate.

For more detailed festive activities throughout the year, please check the below infographic.

Recreating the Calendar distribution ceremony

The Calendar distribution ceremony is the ancient calendar distribution ceremony of the Nguyen Dynasty, held periodically at the end of the lunar year. The ancient Vietnamese took the agricultural economy as a priority, so the calendar had a very special meaning in peoples’ lives. They used the calendar to keep track of the time, to know the weather for farming, and to respond to and prevent disaster.

The Calendar distribution ceremony was held on a large scale at the beginning of the Minh Mang Reign. Every year, after the Kham Thien Giam office finished preparing the calendar, the court held the Calendar distribution ceremony under the direction of members of the Ministry of Ceremonies and Kham Thien Giam.

The calendar was brought into the Royal Palace for use by the royal family, distributed to the mandarins in the Citadel and other localities, and distributed among the people for use.

The Calendar distribution ceremony was originally held at Thai Hoa Palace courtyard. In 1840, for the first time, the Calendar distribution ceremony was ordered by Emperor Minh Mang to be held at Ngo Mon. This year, the Calendar distribution ceremony has been recreated through the theatrical form at the Noon Gate with ancient rituals... 

Recreating the Calendar distribution ceremony is a re-enactment of the humanistic values of the ancient people and an opportunity for tourists and locals to experience the heritage of Hue Ancient Capital on New Year's Day.

FAQs for Hue Festival

Q. Why do they celebrate Hue Festival?

Hue Festival is a biennial cultural event celebrated in even years in order to honor Hue's cultural heritages as well as Vietnam's national identity towards people from all over the world.

Q. How often is Hue Festival taken place?

Hue Festival is a big cultural event of Hue City that is held every two years. There is a week (usually in April, May or June) for each festival season which is the occasion to honor cultural and historical values of that Vietnam's former capital city. The first Hue Festival took place in 2000.

Q. When was the first Hue Festival organized?

It was 2000. The first Hue Festival was called Vietnamese-French Festival and celebrated in 1992. In 2000, the festival gained its official name “Hue Festival.”

Q. What are you doing on Hue Festival?

Some of the unique events held include the Hue Poetry Festival, Dialogue of Drums and Percussion and Ao Dai fashion shows. You can also enjoy sporting activities like kite flying, boat racing, and human chess. ... Street performances, film screenings, and art exhibitions are held throughout the festival week as well.

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My name is Jolie, I am a Vietnamese girl growing up in the countryside of Hai Duong, northern Vietnam. Since a little girl, I was always dreaming of exploring the far-away lands, the unseen beauty spots of the world. My dream has been growing bigger and bigger day after day, and I do not miss a chance to make it real. After graduating from the univesity of language in Hanoi, I started the exploration with a travel agency and learning more about travel, especially responsible travel. I love experiencing the different cultures of the different lands and sharing my dream with the whole world. Hope that you love it too!

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