Thanh Hoa: Xuan Pha folk dance recognised as national heritage
Update: Mar 08, 2017
The Xuan Pha folk dance was recognised as a part of the nation’s intangible cultural heritage by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism at a ceremony held on March 6 at Tho Xuan District’s cultural centre in Thanh Hoa Province.

The folk dance, dated from the Dinh Dynasty (968 - 980), has been practiced, preserved and developed for centuries by Xuan Pha villagers in Xuan Truong Commune, Tho Xuan District.

It features five dances, namely Hoa Lang, Tu Huan, Ai Lao, Ngo Quoc and Xiem Thanh. The dance was based on the ceremonial music of the dynasty and then was simplified into communal and village ritual music. During the performances, dancers dressed in colourful costumes and wore masks and make-up to render themselves unrecognisable.

The Xuan Pha dance is performed at the village’s traditional annual festival on the tenth day of the second lunar month to express gratitude to the gods and to pray for prosperity and bumper crops while helping entertain local people after a year of hard work.

The dance has also been performed at many major events of the country, including President Ho Chi Minh’s birthday celebrations, the National Day, Hue Festivals and the ceremony marking Thang Long–Hanoi millennial anniversary.

The national acknowledgement for the dace will laid a firm foundation for the traditional practice to receive more support for preservation and promotion while looking towards the recognition from the UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage of humanity.