Ancient spirit possession ritual introduced in Netherlands

On the evening of September 3rd, the ancient ritual Hau dong, a spirit possession ritual of the Mother Goddess religion, recognised as an intangible cultural heritage was introduced for the community in the Netherlands in the Vietnamese Embassy.

(VNF) - On the evening of September 3rd, the ancient ritual Hau dong, a spirit possession ritual of the Mother Goddess religion, recognised as an intangible cultural heritage was introduced for the community in the Netherlands in the Vietnamese Embassy in The Hague.

Ancient spirit possession ritual introduced in Netherlands

The show has left strong impression on Vietnamese and international audiences. (Photo: Vietnamese Embassy in Netherlands)

A group of folk artisans led by folk artisan Nguyen Thi Chung brought an up-close look on Vietnam’s cultural identity and heritage to Vietnamese community and Dutch audiences through the Hau Dong ritual and Quan Ho (love duet singing).

The program ends with the exchange between the delegation and the community with songs about the country and Uncle Ho. During their stay in the Netherlands, folk artisans performed at the Embassy's ceremony celebrating Vietnam’s 72nd National Day.

They also participated in international performances at the Embassy Festival organised by the City of The Hague which was warmly welcomed and appreciated by international friends.

Ancient spirit possession ritual introduced in Netherlands

International friends are very interested in and highly evaluate Vietnam’s unique cultural features. (Photo: Vietnamese Embassy in Netherlands)

The ritual to worship Mother, or the Mother Goddess Religion, is one of the main religions in Vietnam which originated from the thousand-year-old age of matriarchy. From the 16th century, based on the ritual to worship the Goddesses, it developed into the worshipping of the Three (or Four) Mother Goddesses with Mother Goddess Lieu Hanh being in the ancestral tablet. Hau dong, a spirit possession ritual of the Mother Goddess religion, is a folk religious performance that holds both spiritual and folk artistic meanings.

Hau dong is a combined ritual with various folk artistic values in terms of literature, music, dancing, fine arts, performing art and folk festival. The performers, called spirit mediums, are thought to be able to contact directly with the spirits, while the ceremony attendants (the audience) hope to have contact with the spirits to ask for their blessing.

Quan ho Bac Ninh was inscribed in the UNESCO's representative list of intangible cultural heritage in September, 2009.

It was highly appreciated by UNESCO experts because of its unique combination of cultural values, social customs, the art of performance, singing techniques, lyrics and performing costumes./.

Translated by Chau Pham

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