Since its first debut on Nguyen Tieu day (the 15th day of the first lunar month) in 2003, Vietnamese Poetry Day has become a national tradition in the early Spring of each new year.

This year’s Poetry Day will be a “grand festival” to be held nationwide to mark the 1,000th anniversary of Thang Long-Hanoi and other big events in the country, according to poet Huu Thinh, Chairman of the Vietnam Writers’ Association.

In the capital city of Hanoi , the eighth annual Vietnamese Poetry Day will open on February 28. It will begin with a special procession of the sacred flame taken from the Thuong Temple, which is dedicated to the Hung Kings--the founders of Vietnam--and the Edict on the Transfer of the Capital from Hoa Lu (Ninh Binh) to Dai La (present-day Hanoi), written by King Ly Thai To.

According to the organisers, poems – both classical and contemporary, by poets from localities nationwide--will be recited in the main courtyard of Van Mieu ( Temple of Literature ), which is Vietnam ’s first university.

In honour of the event, Van Mieu will have its entrance decorated as a “forest of poems” with each tree carrying a poem representing a city or a province. A display will also be reserved for an exhibition of poetry written on porcelain products made by artisans in the famed Bat Trang pottery village.

In the lead up, on February 26 and 27, the Vietnam Writers’ Association, which initiated National Poetry Day, will honour translated poems at the Russian Cultural Centre, and commemorate dead poets.

In Ho Chi Minh City , National Poetry Day will be held for the first time, at the municipal Opera House, and will uphold the theme of “the south thinking of Thang Long”, while in Hue city, poetry readings and recitations along with other related activities will follow the theme of “from ancient capital to ancient capital”.

In response to National Poetry Day, localities nationwide will organise activities to honour poetry which has been an integral part of Vietnamese culture for thousands of years./.