13/05/2016 09:43 GMT+7 print

The City of Ao dai

The 3rd Ao dai Festival held in several places in Ho Chi Minh City from March 5-20, 2016 included many activities to honour Vietnamese traditional Ao dai and contribute to the preservation and promotion of traditional cultural values of the nation.

Unlike two previous occasions  which took place in Dam Sen Cultural Park, this year the Ao dai Festival was held in different places in Ho Chi Minh City such as the Museum of Ho Chi Minh City, Ho Chi Minh City Fine Arts Museum, the War Remnants Museum, the Ao dai Museum, Ho Chi Minh City General Sciences Library and the area surrounding the Uncle Ho Statue. From early March, local citizens have been urged to wear Ao dai in their daily lives,  like going to work, going out or partying to highlight the beauty and use of the traditional costume.

At the Youth Cultural House, the Ao dai Festival started  with a performance of 1,000 students and dancers wearing Ao dai, which received much praise from locals and visitors. At night, a special artistic program themed “Ao dai – The Eternal Charm” and a fashion show featuring Ao dai were staged to entertain the audience. A fair of Ao dai was also held along with exhibitions and exchanges related to Ao dai.

The performance of 1,000 students and dancers in Ao dai.

Vietnamese women wearing Ao dai and non la (conical hat).

Exhibits displayed  at the Ao dai Festival attracts the interest of women.

Girls attending the photo exhibition of Ao dai.

Students wearing Ao dai.

Meaningful activities within the framework of the Ao dai Festival were carried out on weekends so that locals and tourists could easily take part in them. They included a competition on decorating and performing in Ao dai with flowers, a “Charming Ao dai” Contest,  a parade with the theme “The City of Ao dai – The City I love” and “Vietnamese Ao dai – Vietnamese tourism”, and a photo exhibition “Ao dai through the Ages”.

Especially, the Ao dai Museum owned by designer Sy Hoang at 77 Nguyen Hue Street, District 1 displaying  99 Ao dai from the 17th to the 21st century is a place where people can learn more about Ao dai. On display at the museum are different Ao dai designs made at the old Cat Tuong Tailoring Shop or Ao dai designs worn by famous artists.

Le Thi Ngoc Thi, a student of Ho Chi Minh City University of Pedagogy, said, “Ao dai carries the cultural essence of Vietnam and highlights  the charm of women. I hope the costume will be worn more regularly rather than just on holidays or at festivals.”

Speaking about the meaning of the Ao dai Festival, Vice President of the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City Nguyen Thi Thu said, “The 3rd Ao dai Festival in 2016 is a unique festival with the city’s own characteristics, giving a good experience to locals and tourists. It is also a good way to promote the city as a friendly, attractive and safe destination.”

Ao dai designs showcased at the fashion show of Ao dai:

Story: Nguyen Oanh -  Photos: Thong Hai