Culture highlights

Neu pole erection ceremony in Hue

Traditionally, a ceremony to plant a neu pole (a tall bamboo tree with red material strips used to ward off evil spirits during Tet) is organized at Hue Imperial Citadel in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue to mark the beginning of the Lunar New Year.
In the beginning of this ritual of the Nguyen dynasty (1802 – 1945), when the neu pole was planted at the The To Mieu (Ancestral Temple), locals began to erect neu poles. The ceremony was important in the new year during the Nguyen dynasty and it also has become a tradition of the nation. 

The symbolic items are ready to be hung on the Neu pole. 

The ceremony is implemented at the Temple of Original Ancestor.

 The musical team at the ceremony.

The procession is going through Ngu Phung floor. 

The ceremony at the Temple of Original Ancestor. 

The 15-meter bamboo pole is carried by a group of men dressed like soldiers during the Nguyen dynasty in a procession from the Hien Nhon gate through the Thai Hoa palace to arrive at the Ancestral Temple, where it is erected. The pole has symbolic items on top, like a royal seal, a paper scroll and a pen that shows that the royal court will stop working during Tet.

The erection of the neu pole on the 23rd day of the 12th lunar month marks the beginning of Tet and it will be taken down on the seventh day of the first lunar month to mark the end of the Tet celebration.

Besides the Ancestral Temple, a neu pole has been installed at other places inside Hue Imperial Citadel complex with rituals that are more simple.

Installing the neu pole at the Temple of Original Ancestor. 

he neu pole at the Temple of Original Ancestor. 

Panaromic view of the ceremony
at the Temple of Original Ancestor. 

The procession through the Hien Nhon gate.

At Long An palace, which is now the museum of Hue royal 

Offering incenses before installing the neu pole. 

By Truong Vung        Translated by Nguyen Tuoi

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