The 5th National Festival of the traditional “Then” singing of Tay, Nung and Thai ethnic minority groups will take place in the northern province of Tuyen Quang from September 24-26.

The event is part of efforts to promote the traditional art to people nationwide in the name of preserving the folk singing.

An exhibition on the singing style and a workshop on how to preserve and promote the cultural values of the art form will be also arranged.

The festival is expected to offer a chance for Then singing artisans across the country to share their experiences in conserving and upholding the values of the art form.

Tuyen Quang province is home to 64 Then singing clubs with nearly 1,000 local participants.

There are two types of Then singing: “Then ky yen” (praying for good things) and “Then le hoi” (Then festival). The first is performed at rituals while the latter form is to bring cheer and drive away sorrow and hardship in life and is normally used in rituals to pray for good seasons, enter a new home, or “cap sac” (coming-of-age).

The style of singing is traditionally accompanied by a handmade gourd lute called “Dan Tinh” – the soul of the music.

Tuyen Quang has worked with the Vietnam National Academy of Music and other northern provinces of Cao Bang, Bac Kan, Lang Son, Thai Nguyen, Lao Cao, Lai Chau and Bac Giang – where the music is also practised – to compile a dossier towards seeking UNESCO recognition of the world intangible cultural heritage of humanity.-VNA