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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Spiritual enchantment through the lens

Text & photos by Hieu Truong

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As part of the celebrated annual Hue Festival 2024, the revered Hue Nam Palace Festival captivated the hearts of believers, pilgrims, locals, and tourists alike on April 10. The focal point of the festivities was the enchanting procession of the Mother Goddess, both on the streets and along the river.

Jointly organized by the Hue Nam Palace Sponsoring Board and the Thua Thien Hue Department of Culture and Sports, the procession of the Mother Goddess spanned a three-kilometer route through the streets, from Thien Tien Giao Holy Palace to the Nghinh Luong Pavilion. Following a solemn ceremony to invoke peace, the procession then escorted the Mother Goddess to Hue Nam Palace via the tranquil water of the Huong River.

The Hue Nam (also known as Hon Chen) Palace Festival is a vibrant tapestry of folk culture, featuring colorful dragon boats, fluttering flags, and ornate costumes adorning the participants. Both locals and foreign visitors alike are captivated by the traditional spiritual rituals that unfold during this annual festival in the historic capital of Hue.

Elaborately attired male and female believers join the colorful procession
Paper elephants displayed in the procession
The procession moves along Chi Lang Street…
…and in front of Hue’s renowned Dong Ba Market
Devotees worship the Mother Goddess
The procession is seen at the Thuong Bac Pavilion – one of heritage sites within the Hue Monuments complex
A solemn ceremony praying for peace takes place at the Nghinh Luong Pavilion
Foreign tourists are captivated by the colorful and spiritual atmosphere of the festival
Boats await the procession’s arrival on the Huong River
Following the ceremony, the procession escorts the Mother Goddess onto the awaiting boats
The boats sail upstream along the Huong River towards Hue Nam Palace
The procession passes by the iconic Thien Mu Pagoda in Hue
The boats arrive at Hue Nam Palace, marking the commencement of the main activities of the Hue Nam Palace Festival

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