Revival of grand audience ceremony from Nguyen Dynasty

By Vo Thanh   February 25, 2020 | 03:57 pm GMT+7

Hue Monuments Conservation Centre is preparing the script and logistics to reenact Grand Audience Ceremony from Nguyen Dynasty in a bid to diversify tourist attractions in Hue.

This ceremony reenactment will take place in the courtyard perching Thai Hoa Palace where Nguyen kings and functionaries once convened for political discussions, further enhancing historic and cultural values of the landmark. The show is scheduled to be launched this year.

Hue Town in central Vietnam is home to the Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945), Vietnam’s last royal family.

Nguyen Phuong Hai Trung, vice president of the Monuments Conservation Center, said kings of the Nguyen Dynasty back then paid great attention to agriculture problems and instituted many successful policies. It was under their reign that Nam Giao and Xa Tac esplanades were built for ploughing festivals and blessing seasons with abundance in harvests.

The organization will set in motion a court session in which a Nguyen Dynasty king manages calamities such as unideal weather, hunger, rice reserves, commodity pricing control, and internal administration.

Visitors will have the chance to experience grand audience ceremony of Nguyen Dynasty kings at the courtyard in front of Thai Hoa Palace. Photo by VnExpress/Vo Thanh.

Visitors will have the chance to experience a grand audience ceremony of Nguyen Dynasty kings at the courtyard in front of Thai Hoa Palace. Photo by VnExpress/Vo Thanh.

No actual king will be sitting on a gold throne at Thai Hoa Palace, his script will be acted and projected by loudspeakers at the site. Contrary to the physical absence of this character, over 120 professional actors playing subjects and officials will take over the on-site stage for the 15-minute show. Second emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty, Minh Mang’s poem about farmer appreciation is also featured. 

"The show will initially take place weekly. If it receives positive feedback, we plan to make it daily for any visitor coming into the Imperial City," said Trung.

The court outside Thai Hoa Palace is chosen for the historical scene reenactment. Photo by VnExpress/Vo Thanh.

The court outside Thai Hoa Palace is chosen for the historical scene reenactment. Photo by VnExpress/Vo Thanh.

According to Kham dinh Dai Nam Hoi dien su le, book volumes recording activities and regulations under the Nguyen Dynasty, upon enthronement Minh Mang had summoned a large group of officials to his beck and call. He then decided Grand Audience Ceremony would take place bi-monthly, on the first and 15th of the lunar month. Mandarins absent without a valid excuse were subjected to unforgiving punishments.

These scrolls also documented the specific process of entering Salutation Court during the ceremony. Mandarins were organized per rank and gathered in different, designated spots. In the winter of 1832, under harsh weather Minh Mang allowed only a selective range of officials to kneel on bamboo mat.

Hue from above: Vietnam's former capital shines in peace. Video by The Hue of Hue.

 
 
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