The Hue Festival is an enchanting event celebrating traditional beauty in Hue. Formerly, the Festival was known as a biennial event held in the ancient capital region of Hue City, Vietnam. However, starting in 2022, you can experience the festival for the entire year, not just 5 or 10 days, but a 4-season-a-year. You heard that right!
Before we delve into the transformation of the Hue Festival, we would like to leave a note here about our Vietnam tour packages which showcase our fascinating Vietnam journeys you may like to refer to later!
Hue Festival from 2000 to 2018
The Hue festival, which takes place biennially in even years, is a significant cultural affair that is focused on commemorating the time-honored customs of the former capital city of Hue.
History of Hue Festival
The first Hue Festival was held in 1992 with the name Vietnam – France Festival held between Hue City and CODEV Viet France. With the desire to organize a festival with a higher scale and quality, in October 1998, the Government allowed Thua Thien Hue province to coordinate with the French Embassy in Vietnam to organize Hue Festival 2000.
Together with the coordination and preparation of a group of Vietnamese – French technical experts have launched the first Hue Festival, which is considered a major cultural event in Vietnam, both nationally and internationally, attracting the participation of many people.
Through a Vietnamese fusion of cultural values and traditional performing arts combined with contemporary technology, the Hue Festival quickly becomes one of the foremost cultural events to participate in Vietnam. Since 2000, this festival has been taking place for 22 years with 11 meaningful and unique sessions organized thus far.
Meaning of Hue Festival
The main purpose of organizing the Hue festival is to conserve and advance cultural values, with the goal of promoting tourism. Each festival highlights specific cultural aspects of the region, emphasizing its unique art, culture, and depth that cannot be experienced on a regular day.
The main events taking place during this period of the Hue Festival include a combination of various activities such as the Poetry Competition, Kite Flying, Ao Dai Fashion Show, Documentary Film Screening, Art Exhibition, and more.
The Hue Festival has provided numerous opportunities for the tourism industry in Hue to flourish. By showcasing the region’s potential, promoting its image, and increasing profits in accommodation and hotel services, the festival has played a crucial role in creating jobs and boosting economic growth. Some of the evidently positive impacts of the festival can be seen in various nightlife products, handicrafts, and new tours and routes such as garden tourism, old town, green hue, countryside market, and old village.
Hue Festival 2022 – The Beginning of the Transformation
Unlike previous Hue festivals, after 2 years break due to Covid-19, Hue Festival 2022 comes back as the first festival that will be celebrated with the new four seasons concept. The theme “Cultural Heritage with Integration and Development”, which is a combination of traditional and contemporary, created a “cultural party”; that continues to affirm its determination to build Hue into the Festival city of Asia.
The festival will feature a series of events that will take place throughout the year, starting with the Ban Soc ceremony on January 1, 2022, and concluding with a countdown program on December 31, 2022. The festival will be segmented into four distinct seasons, each with its own unique activities and events.
The Spring Festival “Spring Colors and Harmony” takes place from January to March including royal festivals and folk festivals. The opening ceremony is the Ban Soc ceremony which takes place at the Hue Imperial Citadel heritage area. It was followed by the Thuong Tieu Festival, the Huyen Tran Temple Festival, the Xa Tac Sacrifice Ceremony, the Hue poetry festival, and activities within the framework of Vietnamese poetry day. The highlight of spring is the festival “Hue – Culinary Capital”.
The Summer Festival takes place from April to June with many special programs and events such as the Ao Dai Festival, a street festival with the theme “Cultural Colors”, the Trinh Cong Son Music Program, the Hue Lotus Festival, the Hue Kite Festival, the Art Show “Who Named The River”, etc.
The Autumn Festival “Fascinating Autumn” takes place from July to September with musical performances “Celebrating Footprints”, Hiphop Festival, Ancient Village Perfume Festival, Truyen Lo Festival, and Festivals lanterns, Hue Lion Festival, etc.
The Winter “Melodies Winter” Festival takes place from October to December with the Hue Bolero Golden Voice Festival, International Circus Festival, Hue Singing Festival, Hue-style health care tourism week, Festival Music “Winter Melodies” and ends with a countdown to welcome the New Year.
Above are examples of the format changes of the Hue Festival in 2022. In 2023, the Hue Festival also takes place with a similar format, themed ‘Vietnamese Traditional Craftmanship’. You can refer to updated information about the exact timing, themes, and dates of the events in the Hue Festival in various years on the organization’s website, which is visithue.vn.
Why has Hue Festival changed?
The objective of Thua Thien Hue province is to transform Hue City into a festival hub in Vietnam by organizing continuous festivals throughout the year, using the “four seasons festival” model. Rather than concentrating all festival activities in a short period, this model distributes cultural, artistic, and festival events according to seasonal themes, culminating in the festival week. This approach aims to systematize and link together the festivals taking place throughout the year in Hue heritage city.
So instead of being a cultural week in Hue focused on a specific time frame as before, the Hue Festival is now taking place with events closely tied to culture and local activities. The peak months of the Hue Festival are still around the period of April to June when the spring and summer weather in Vietnam is quite pleasant. If you visit Hue at any time of the year, be sure to check whether any events at the Hue Festival are taking place!