Xoan Singing, which was recognised as an Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Protection by UNESCO in November 2011, is a precious cultural product of Phu Tho ancestral land. Let’s come to Vietnam through vietnam package tours to be listened Xoan Singing. It is sure this is an enjoyable experience.
Its origin is associated to anecdotes of Hung King in the time of building the country. Legend has it that, once day, on the way finding the capital land, Hung King stayed at a village (now Phu Duc village and An Thai village, Viet Tri city, Phu Tho province), he was really interested in some shepherds singing and dancing enthusiastically, then he came and taught them some more melodies which were considered as the first Xoan songs. People also said that Xoan singing was originated from Que Hoa whose songs and dances helped Hung King’s wife overcame her long lasting labouring pain and gave birth of 3 healthy baby boys. Hung King was so happy and he asked all the princesses to learn Que Hoa’s songs and dances. It was in spring so that the name of those songs and dances was Xuan (Xuan means spring in Vietnamese). However, Xuan was name of a Hung King’s concubine so that it was changed into Xoan.
Xoan Singing in Phu Tho province is a custom and ritual folk type with diverse kinds of art such as singing, dancing and folk art in festival performance. According to many Xoan singers in Phu Duc village (Viet Tri City, Phu Tho province), Xoan Singing is the melody to celebrate Hung Kings in new year time. Besides, Xoan singing is also to pray Gods good things. The main contents of Xoan singing are concentrated on celebration and praise. Nevertheless, to meet the demand of entertainment on special occasions, Xoan Singing is, in some way and some time, out of the ritual sense. Nowadays, there are many Xoan songs related to love, cajolery, four seasons in a year, etc. Today, Xoan villages, which belong to the central areas of ancient Van Lang State, connect into a range from Lo River to Thao River. From Hung mountain where is the location of Hung King temple, Xoan villages look like a chain of pearls. Hence, Xoan singing itself has many cultural elements of ancient Van Lang from the very beginning. The cultural remnants of Van Lang State are preserved in Xoan villages. There fore, most Xoan villages worship Hung Kings for praying good things.
When performing Xoan singing, man plays the main role and women mostly sing background vocal and dance. Xoan Singing is performed with full formats of singing: recitative, coloratura, poems; with female choir, men’s choir, group song, polyphonic singing, mix singing, etc. On the nuances of music, Xoan Singing is creative and unique kind of art with many types of voice, serious voice, strong high voice and charming light voice, etc.
Xoan Singing usually takes an indispensable part in Hung King Temple Festival and attracts millions of people when they come to Phu Tho to discover the cultural cradle of Vietnam from ancient Van Lang State.