Tho Ha – an ancient pottery village in Vietnam

Tho Ha Village

Tho Ha is a village that represents the soul of Vietnam. This is an ideal place to sense the simple rustic and warmth of our homeland, therefore, by the time you have to leave, you will be filled with a feeling of regret for wanting to stay longer.

Tho Ha Village

Tho Ha is the name of a famous pottery village in ancient days, which is located in Van Ha commune, Viet Yen district, Bac Giang province. Through the ups and downs of history and the destruction of time, Tho Ha still keeps its ancient, moss features, in company with unique cultural activities bearing Vietnamese identity.

As one of the three oldest pottery centers of Vietnam, Tho Ha village was once famous for its household wares, jars, pots, crockery,.. in glory days. Tho Ha pottery has its own unique features: high degree of porcelain, water repellency, bell-like sound with smooth, warm, and familiar red-brown enamel color. Additionally, the pottery also has stood the test of the time even though it is buried in the ground or immersed in water.

Tho Ha Village

Today, vestiges of pottery-making that were well-known a long time ago are still found in the alley walls, house walls built of broken pottery fragments and waste porcelain. Coming to the village, we still see the old village roads, the mossy roof along with the reservation of the curved temple’s roof. Tho Ha Pagoda is a national-level monument recognized in 1960.

From the 1960s of the twentieth century, locals at Tho Ha village gradually changed to make rice crackers (Bánh đa) and rice noodles (Mì gạo) for living. This job has brought to local people a more stable life and income. As rice crackers are needed to keep from drying too much but not too wet also, villagers often bring them out to dry in the early morning and clean them up when the sun is high in the sky. The small alleys of Tho Ha become a convenient drying place, attracting numerous photographers to take pictures of “bánh đa” that are arranged horizontally and vertically.

Held once every 2 years on Jan 20 to 22 in Lunar Calendar, the spring festival is a large procession, this procession is colorful with kép tuồng, eight sound ward, “sinh tien” dance, chess and sword man,… and also the image of three God of Happiness, Wealth, and Health slowly walking in the joy of the villagers. All of these things form the most unique feature of Kinh Bac region.

How to go to Tho Ha village? You go along Highway 1 from Chuong Duong Bridge, Hanoi to about 30km to the North. When arriving at Bac Ninh bus station, you continue to go along Thien Duc street about 3km more through Van Phuc ferry station, across the Cau river to reach Tho Ha village.

Source: From Lecturer, MC Lê Anh’s Facebook
Translator: Vuong Gia Linh.
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