15:04 | 04/03/2014 Entertainment
Ho Chi Minh City is set to hold a large-scale fest for the first time to honor “ao dai” (traditional Vietnamese long gown) on March 8 and 9, which aims to better promote the grace of the attire and its historical development and uses, as well as to turn it into a tourist allure.
The fest, themed “Ao dai and flowers,” will start at Dam Sen Park at 9:00 am on the International Women’s Day, March 8.
It will boast a variety of activities such as exhibitions and performances of the costume along with a workshop on “ao dai” during wartime, one of the most-attended seminars held by the War Remnants Museum.
Other highlights include a photo competition, a contest for “ao dai” models, the record establishment of Vietnam’s longest “ao dai,” and music performances.
Visitors in “ao dai” will get free admission to the event and a 20 percent discount at the stalls selling cloths, jewelry pieces, and accessories for “ao dai” by famed designers.
Kids will have a chance to join a competition in drawing “ao dai” on paper and watch children’s plays.
“The fest aims to accentuate the grace and daily use of ‘ao dai’ and to prove that the attire is fit for both females and males on special occasions,” said La Quoc Khanh, deputy head of the HCMC Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the event’s head organizer.
“I was once surrounded by crowds of ‘fans’ at an international fair, who posed with me for photos and asked for my autographs simply because I was wearing an ‘ao dai.’
“We really hope that the coming festival will help make the attire Vietnamese people’s national costume.”
Famous “ao dai” designer Si Hoang, who has spent a major part of his life on studying the gown and recently opened the country’s first “ao dai” museum, provided expert counseling for the event’s organizers and invited several of his colleagues, including Thuan Viet, Le Thanh Phuong and Viet Hung, to join the festivities with their latest collections.
Khanh, the deputy head, said that his department has had plans to hold the fest on a yearly basis with even more appealing activities./.