A set of stamps marking Nguyen Du’s birthday (Source: VNA)

Ha Tinh (VNA) - A stately ceremony to celebrate the great poet Nguyen Du’s 250th birth anniversary was held in his birth place, the central province of Ha Tinh on December 5, drawing the participation of State and Party leaders, and many other provincial officials.

The event aimed to honour Nguyen Du’s contributions to Vietnam and humanity’s culture while promoting the roles of literature in nurturing souls and sentiment, and popularising Vietnamese culture.

In his opening remarks, National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung highlighted the poet’s reputation and literacy career with his most influential work, The Tale of Kieu (Truyen Kieu), which has transcended national borders and made Vietnamese literature a part of human cultural quintessence.

Over the past two centuries, his works have conquered the hearts of both Vietnamese and international readers, he said, underscoring that his poetry includes a deep philosophy on life and humanity.

He expressed his hope that Vietnamese people in general and Ha Tinh residents in particular will preserve and spread the immortal value of The Tale of Kieu far and wide.

The ceremony was followed by an art performance themed “Tieng tho ai dong dat troi” (the poem touches the soul of the Earth and Heaven).

Earlier, General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung and other delegates offered incense at the poet’s worship house and tomb in Tien Dien commune, Nghi Xuan district.

On the same day, a set of stamps marking Nguyen Du’s birthday was officially issued. The set features the great poet writing Truyen Kieu, an epic written in Nom, under the moonlight. It will be available on the public post network until June 30, 2017.

Nguyen Du (1766-1820), also known as To Nhu and Thanh Hien, was recognised by UNESCO as a World Cultural Celebrity with 108 others in 2003.

In his 55 years of life, the great poet left a monumental legacy that includes three collections in Han (Chinese) script, with 250 poems in Thanh Hien Thi Tap (Poems of Thanh Hien), Nam Trung Tap Ngam (Various Poems) and Bac Hanh Tap Luc (Miscellaneous Writings in a Trip to the North), as well as the most well-known, the Tale of Kieu.

The Tale of Kieu is a 3,254-line classic verse novel written in "luc bat", a traditional form of Vietnamese poetry that consists of alternating lines of six and eight syllables.

Kieu's story is vastly popular in Vietnam. Many people know the epic by heart, and it has been translated into 20 different languages including French, Chinese, English, Russian and Japanese.

The tale was recognised by the World Peace Council as one of the world's most celebrated cultural works in 1965.-VNA