Lucky charms: calligraphy writes good fortune in Vietnam

By VnExpress   January 22, 2017 | 01:04 am PT
It's this time of the year again when Hanoians have blessings written in calligraphy.

It's long been a tradition among Hanoians to visit the Temple of Literature to have meaningful words written for them in calligraphy asking for good luck for the year ahead.

This year, the Spring Calligraphy Festival is welcoming more than 100 artists. The selection process for the artists is pretty tough, said Le Xuan Kieu, an official from the Temple of Literature.

The handwritten symbols represent humanity, beauty and all aspects of a virtuous life, said Tran Quoc Chi, deputy chairman of the UNESCO Club for Vietnamese Calligraphy.

The most sought-after ones are Happiness 福, Longevity 禄, Peace 安 and Love 爱.

On red or yellow dó (poonah) papers, calligraphers write words in traditional script such as Phúc (Happiness), Lộc (Prosperity) and Thọ (Longevity) along with other sayings intended to bring good health, luck and prosperity

On red or yellow do paper, calligraphers write in traditional script using a feather quill to bring good health, luck and prosperity.

A calligrapher is writing meaningful words for the Festivals attendee. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh

A calligrapher at work at the festival.


The festival also features Vietnamese folk paintings, which combine traditional cultural values with age-old artistic techniques.

People believe the paintings will drive away evil and bring good luck for the coming year. With the Year of the Rooster arriving, most of the artworks are focused on this animal.

Rooster will be the theme this year. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh

Roosters are the theme this year, but there's no harm in throwing a few pigs into the mix. Photos by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh

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