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Hue Festival gets soaked, moves ahead as planned

Hue Festival 2004 became a reality for local residents and visitors on Monday with a sunny but cool third day, after the two previous were hampered by the effects of a typhoon.

The sun shone with golden rays on a crowd at Ngo Mon Square, where hundreds of Vietnamese and foreigners took in the beauty of the citadel and its neighbouring relics.Many in the crowd were awaiting art performances that had been rescheduled due to cancellations or changes in venue.

According to Le Viet Xe, head of the festival’s organising committee, all upcoming art performances will take place according to schedule, even though some had to be moved to different venues due to inclement weather.

The Evening Royal Banquet, a special programme offering the food and protocol of the royal party, was moved from the Huong Giang Hotel to the courtyard of Can Chanh Palace due to heavy rain on opening day. The banquet will continue to be held at Can Chanh Palace on Wednesday and Friday nights.

Xe, also the vice chairman of Thua Thien-Hue People’s Committee, said there are still more than 600 rooms with more than 1,200 beds available for tourists.

"I am sure that tourists who come to Hue will receive a warm and friendly welcome from the local people and enjoy interesting art performances and ritual programmes," he said.

A Vietnamese water puppet competition also opened on Monday, with 14 troops from traditional puppet performance villages participating.

The festival continued on Tuesday with an ao dai (traditional Vietnamese dress) sub-festival held in addition to exhibitions of royal music, Viet timbre, Chinese dragon dance, and Argentine melody.

The festival will wrap up on Sunday with a celebration of flower garlands and colourful lanterns, which will be broadcast live by Viet Nam Television.

VNS - (17/06/2004)

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