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[Video] At a Hero's Tomb, Vibrant Vietnamese Opera Mesmerizes Passersby

The first full moon of the lunar year is a big deal for Saigon’s Chinese community.

Every year, two weeks after the first day of Tet come the first full moon of the first lunar month. During this occasion, practicing Buddhists and most of the Chinese-Vietnamese communities in Saigon and Vietnam gather at spiritual buildings all over the country to pray and put forth offerings in hopes of an auspicious year ahead.

In this feature video, Saigoneer makes a trek to the Tomb of Le Van Duyet – better known as Lang Ong-Ba Chieu in Vietnamese – in Binh Thanh District to relish on the visual feast that is hát tuồng. These vibrant, high-stylized, and dramatized performances are among the oldest forms of cultural entertainment in Vietnam.

If you’ve been to a recent art exhibition organized by Saigon’s crop of young creatives on the age-old art, "Ve Ve Hat Boi," this would be a good chance to witness hát bội in its original form. For the first full moon event, local performers showcased Ngoc Ky Lan, one of the most iconic plays of Vietnamese opera.

Have a gander at the colorful performance here:

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