Cultura Fish Explores the Sacred Grounds of Hát Bội at Thanh Bình Hall of Ancestors

Thanh Bình Hall of Ancestors, a revered site for the traditional Vietnamese art of Hát Bội, holds a special place in the hearts of practitioners and enthusiasts alike. Cultura Fish first learned about this historic site from a veteran Hát Bội artist who expressed a lifelong wish to perform at what she called the “ancestral home” of Hát Bội.

Located deep within alley 281 on Chi Lăng Street, Thanh Bình Hall is not immediately visible from the main road, tucked behind residential buildings and a protective screen. Established in 1825 during the reign of Emperor Minh Mạng and built in the traditional Hue architectural style, the hall has undergone several restorations but retains its ancient charm. Usually closed, visitors need to seek assistance from the caretaker to explore the interior.

The hall serves as a place of worship for the deities and venerable figures associated with Hát Bội, often referred to as “Tuồng” by locals in Hue. Inside, there are altars not only to these guardian spirits but also to the twelve ancestral crafts linked directly or indirectly to Hát Bội, such as costume tailoring, carpentry, and agriculture—emphasizing the ethos of “nourishing the practice through practical means.”

During a visit, Cultura Fish experienced a deep appreciation for the intricacy of Hát Bội, recognizing the extensive skill and dedication it demands. The current caretaker, Ms. Thiên Thu, shared stories of the surrounding area once known as “the Hát Bội quarter,” where many artists were trained for royal performances. The thought of the vibrant drums, rehearsals, and the lively display of costumes and props from a bygone era adds a layer of nostalgia to the visit.

Thanh Bình Hall occasionally hosts visits from artists and troupes, such as the Ngọc Khanh Classical Opera Troupe, who set up performances right in the compound to entertain the community.

For those planning a trip to Hue with an interest in Hát Bội, adding Thanh Bình Hall of Ancestors to your itinerary is a must. To arrange a visit or participate in ceremonies, guests can contact Ms. Thiên Thu at 0774525079 or ask nearby locals for assistance.

For a visual journey through Thanh Bình Hall, Cultura Fish invites readers to view an infographic and photo album available in our image library.

Contact us: 

  • Hà Thúc Đức Tùng (Project Manager) | [email protected] | +84 934 848 800 (Zalo, Whatsapp)