The Grand Audience Ceremony of the Nguyen Dynasty at Tet was reenacted on Tuesday in the former imperial town of Hue in a bid to preserve the royal tradition.
The Hue Monuments Conservation Center reenacted a Tet ceremony popular during the reign of Nguyen emperors with the participation of more than 100 individuals in Thai Hoa Palace, Hue Imperial Citadel. Hue Imperial Citadel, a UNESCO heritage site, was home to the Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945), which ruled Vietnam for 143 years. On the first day of the Lunar New Year, the Grand Audience Ceremony used to be held at Thai Hoa Palace and Ordinary Audience Ceremony at Can Chanh Palace. However, the supposed-to-be-ostentatious reenactment of the two rites only took place at Thai Hoa Palace since Can Chanh Palace had been destroyed in 1947 in a scorched earth resistance policy during the war.
Early in the morning, imperial guards solemnly hold lanterns, waiting for the emperor going from Can Chanh Palace to Dai Cung Mon (Great Palace Gate) and ascend to Thai Hoa Palace for the Grand Audience Ceremony.
After being signaled by the bell and drum at Ngu Phung (Five Phoenixes) Pavilion, the procession of nobility enters the courtyard of Thai Hoa Palace on the first day of the New Lunar Year. Officials have to wear attire in accordance with their rank
Nobles wait in position to hear the emperor’s proclamation of Tet.
The hierarchy of officials is determined by their position. The highest rank, which is the chief of staff of each ministry stands at the front, near Thai Hoa Palace and the lowest rank the farthest away.
When the king ascends to the throne inside Thai Hoa Palace, an en masse prostration marks the rite opening in earnest.
Mandarins then offer their congratulatory statement to the emperor.
The event is followed by a banquet and performance as appointed by the king.
The music performance for the Grand Audience Ceremony is attended by a group of Hue royal court artists.
One of the “Great Musical Instruments” of Nguyen Dynasty.
The procession of noblemen heads towards the New Year’s banquet hall, which used to be in Can Chanh Palace and the halls on its left and right flank called Ta Vu, Huu Vu, Ta Dai Lau Vien and Huu Dai Lau Vien, designated for officials according to their rank.
Nguyen Phuoc Hai Trung, vice director of Hue Monuments Conservation Center, said the Grand Audience Ceremony was staged with the aim to preserve the cultural heritage of Nguyen Dynasty and introduce the royal traditions at Tet, promoting tourism in Thua Thien-Hue Province.