The provincial Party Committee’s information and education board said on January 25 that the “Returning to the land of Quan ho 2019” festival will consist of 25 activities, including a celebration of the 10th anniversary of Quan ho’s recognition by UNESCO, an exchange programme between artisans of Quan ho and other UNESCO-recognised intangible cultural heritage items of Vietnam, and a programme of Quan ho folk song performances on boats.
Head of the information and education board Nguyen Dang Tuc said it will be attended by artisans of 44 original Quan ho villages in Bac Ninh. Five similar villages in the neighbouring province of Bac Giang were also invited to this event.
A cultural and tourism week will also be organised on this occasion to popularise Bac Ninh’s image to visitors from across Vietnam and other countries, he added.
Fringe activities include a Quan ho singing competition, a youth camp, and an international women’s volleyball tournament.
Quan ho Bac Ninh folk songs were inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity on September 30, 2009. Since then, Bac Ninh has made considerable efforts to realise its commitments to UNESCO to conserve and uphold the value of this art form, thus obtaining comprehensive results.
The songs are alternating response songs between male and female singers. Quan ho singing is common at rituals, festivals, competitions, and informal gatherings, where guests will perform a variety of verses for their hosts before singing farewell.