Organized since 2006, “Royal Night” is a historic space with a variety of events, traditional games and Hue’s royal gastronomy.
One of the most interesting events is the reinactment of a princess’ wedding under the Nguyen Dynasty. As the king’s daughter, the princess cannot find anyone of the same status to marry. As a result, her marriage would be demeaning, so the process of choosing a prince is not easy.
The king orders the Ministry of Personnel and the Ministry of Defense to list five young sons of prominent mandarins, who must be smart, good-looking and able-bodied, to choose from. Once the prince is chosen, the wedding is conducted at the Imperial City.
The princess and prince wear traditional attire for the ceremony under the observation of a mandarin chosen by the king as the master of ceremonies. Having a son chosen as prince is an honor, one that comes with lots of fortune granted by the king and queen. The wedding consists of six parts conducted over three days. On the first day, the prince-to-be’s family will bring offerings to the royal court such as cattle, moonshine, silk, gold and silver. More offerings are presented on the second day.
The third day is the most important one. A pair of swans are presented in seperate cages symbolizing faith, while one hundred coins and a five-color thread box symbolize prosperity and fertility.
After the ceremony comes the welcoming ritual with two mandarins and three hundred soldiers. The prince asks the king to receive the princess.
The master of ceremonies leads the way.
After the wedding, the princess is invited into the sitting room of the prince’s family. The prince’s side start the banquet. The couple will conduct the required ceremonies including eating from the same dish and drinking spirit from cups made from two halves of the same calabash. The princess is presented to the parents-in-law the following day, when she offers four prayers to the West. The prince’s parents stand to the East and return two prayers. The next day, the young couple present themselves to the king. The prince is granted third level mandarin attire, two velvet suits and two saddles.
The 2016 Hue Festival is taking place from April 28 to May 4.
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