Various activities kicked off in the northern province of Bac Ninh on February 14 as part of an ongoing festival marking a decade since the Quan ho Bac Ninh folk songs were recognised by UNESCO as part of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity.
The “Returning to the land of Quan ho 2019” festival included a Quan ho singing contest, which drew the participation of 350 artisans and instrumentalists across the locality. The annual contest has become a traditional cultural activity of local Quan ho artisans, greatly contributing to the conservation and development of the intangible heritage.
A spring press festival also opened the same day, introducing more than 100 newspapers and magazines from press agencies across the country. The festival is designed to honour reading culture and improve the quality of people’s lives.
In addition, there was an exhibition featuring nearly 4,000 ornamental trees from hundreds of artists and associations in Bac Ninh and other localities, including some trees over a century old. The event runs through until February 26.
Meanwhile, the Bac Ninh Culture and Tourism Week, which aims to popularise the province’s image to visitors from across Vietnam and other countries, will be underway until May 12.
Quan ho Bac Ninh folk songs were inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity on September 30, 2009. Since then, Bac Ninh has made considerable efforts to realise its commitments to UNESCO to conserve and uphold the value of this art form, thus obtaining comprehensive results.
The songs are alternating response verses between male and female singers. Quan ho singing is common at rituals, festivals, competitions, and informal gatherings, where guests will perform a variety of verses for their hosts before singing farewell.