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Home | Vietnam | Art Performance | Hat Xoan
Hat Xoan

Hat Xoan is a festive and custom folk-song performed in festivals and worshiping genie. 

According to "Hung Vuong Legend", Hat Xoan began in the stage of building the country of Vietnam. Craftsmen in Phu Duc village of Kim Duc commune, Phu Ninh district said, "In the old days, saints went along to discover land. They passed Phu Duc village one mid-day and took a rest in a forest near the village, from which they saw infant cowboys playing, singing, fighting and tugging on a grassplot. The oldest saint told his accompanied to teach the infant cowboys more songs. Afterwards a long time, the peoples of the village dedicate cake at mid-day and beef in the afternoon to the Lai Len shrine worshiping the three saints on 30 December of lunar calendar annually. On 2 and 3 January of lunar calendar, Phu Duc's peoples open a praying festival, where they re-perform songs, fighting and tugging on the grassplot. 

Hat Xoan is a profound cultural product of Phu Tho with the following distinct characteristics: 

Performed in a certain time: Hat Xoan is performed in the spring as an activity to welcome a new year. On 1 January of lunar calendar, Hat Xoan is performed firstly at An Thai Communal House, secondly at Kim Doi, Phu Duc and Thet. 

Performed at certain places: Hat Xoan is also named "Khuc Mon Dinh" (singing at the communal house's doors). Each team of Xoan performance holds a certain number of communal house's doors so that no fighting among teams occurs. 

Organized strictly: Hat Xoan requires the establishment of teams of Xoan or families of Xoan. The "Gai Hue" song has the following sentence:    

Tam Thanh (a place) with chanties 
I want to marry the girl of the Xoan family 

Each team of Xoan usually has a leader supported by 4-5 men and 12-15 women, so Hat Xoan has the following sentence: 

Tam Thanh with chanties 
I want to marry 12 women 

Performed according to a certain order: Hat Xoan must be performed according to a certain order consisting of 3 parts: Rites, Performance and Festive singing.   

Rites: The performers kowtow and pray in front of the communal house’s gate. They talk to the genies human feelings and sing the praise of saints and gods. 

Performance: The performers describe the life of classes in rural areas current at that time or sing the praise of natural beauty or told old stories and legends. 

Festive singing: Performers sing love songs with dances and games. This is the most joyful part of Hat Xoan.

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