Quan Ho is performed on boats - Illustrative image (Source: VNA)

Bac Ninh (VNA) – Thousands of local people and visitors have flocked to Tien Du district in the northern province of Bac Ninh to attend the Lim festival, which honours Quan Ho (love duet singing) – the world intangible cultural heritage recognised by UNESCO.

The annual festival takes place on February 27-28 or the 12th and 13th days of the Lunar New Year.

The incense-offering rituals were organised at Hong An pagoda (Lim pagoda) on Lim Hill. The pagoda is dedicated to Nguyen Dinh Dien (Hieu Trung Hau), who invented Quan Ho.

The Lim festival contributes to preserving the locality’s traditional cultural values and promoting images and tourism potential of Bac Ninh.

The organising board has arranged six areas and one stage for Quan Ho singing. Quan Ho is also performed on boats, and at pagodas and communal houses in Noi Due and Lien Bao communes, and Lim town.

Besides Quan Ho singing, the festival also features various folk games such as traditional wrestling, earthenware pot breaking, and bamboo swinging.

The art of love duets was inscribed in UNESCO’s representative list of intangible cultural heritage in September 2009.

Quan Ho is an art form that combines various elements, including music, lyrics and costumes, and features the distinctive culture of people in the region formerly called Kinh Bac.

The singing represents different kinds of relationships -- the relationship between male and female singers as romantic lovers, the relationship between two friendly villages and the relationship between performers and the audience. Each element helps define Quan Ho, give it life and meaning, and the resulting harmony is so much more than just a beautiful song.-VNA