Vietnamese ancient lamps on display in Hanoi at the Vietnam National Museum of History provide an introduction to the historical significance of the lamp and demonstrations on how to use and make them.

In Vietnam , the lamp has been made for thousands of years. It is not only used for daily life such as lighting, heating and cooking, but also for rites and religious activities – an important object in the worshipping space of the Vietnamese people.

The exhibition presents 50 objects, spanning 2,500 years up to the early 20th century. The lamp in a kneeling human shape (Dong Son culture, dating from 2,500 years ago) has been certified as one of Vietnam 's National Treasures.

Lamps displayed are categorised in different periods. Artefacts of Dong Son culture were mainly made from bronze and were shaped like humans and animals. During the 1st-10th centuries, lamps were made from bronze and pottery with designs influenced by Chinese culture.

Lamps dating from the 11st-20th centuries are various and sophisticated in materials and designs. Many lamps ordered for the royal court and temples have dates, places and name of producers, providing valuable historical data.

"The lamp is one of the most ancient human inventions. Thanks to the lamp people were gradually able to control fire, which was useful both in terms of daily life and for traditional ceremonies, said Nguyen Van Cuong, director of the museum. "The exhibition will provide visitors a panoramic view of designs, techniques and materials of Vietnamese lamps in different periods," he said.-VNA