Puppeteers from 27 countries will participate in the fourth international puppetry festival to be held in Hanoi from October 10 to 16, said the culture ministry's performing arts department.

Puppeteers from across the country will showcase various types of puppetry practised in Vietnam, and exchange experiences with foreign counterparts at the festival.

The cultural event is part of the framework of the National Tourism Year 2015, which has the theme of "Connecting World Heritage sites with the aim of promoting cultural heritage and tourism".

The participating troupes will also perform in northern provinces such as Phu Tho and Ninh Binh and the central province of Thanh Hoa.

Vietnam is famed for water puppetry which is so unique and attractive globally.

Water puppetry is believed to have originated from the villages of the Red River Delta in the 11th century, when the perfoming guilds of nine northern provinces practiced the art. Evidence of the link between water puppetry and farming can be seen in the traditional puppetry guilds, which are located around the fertile land of the Red River Delta. This area consists of numerous rivers and is often prone to flooding.

Research by the Thang Long Water Puppetry Theatre in 2005 showed that of the 27 active practicing guilds from 1955 to 1976, only 14 remained active and most of them couldn't make a living by performing the art. Le Tien Tho, President of Vietnam Stage Artists Association, said that traditional puppetry guilds were in danger of becoming extinct because many young people no longer wanted to perform the art.-VNA