Hat Then

     Hat then, originating from the Tay and Nung minorities, is a religious performance of long poems depicting a journey to Heaven to talk to the Jade Emperror. Such poems usually consist of many parts and vary in length and content. The longest poem ever discovered contained approximately 5,000 verses grouped into 35 sections.


     Hat then is a performing art featuring music, dance, and acting. During the ceremony, Then or Giang (respective names of female and male performers) carry out the rites. Performers sing, play a musical instrument, and dance. Music is played throughout the entire ceremony.

     The Tay and the Nung people of all ages are fond of hat then. Other ethnic groups, such as the H'mong and the Viet (Kinh), have also added this form of singing to their spiritual lives.

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