Water puppetry is a unique folk art existed in Vietnam more than 1000 years when it originated in the villages of the Red River Delta area of northern Vietnam. The themes of the shows mainly relate the stories of legends and the farmer in the rural area.
Water puppetry often takes place on festivals, village festivals, New Year days, using puppets to perform on the water. Linking with the wet rice civilization, the water puppetry has different characteristics from ordinary puppet show such as using the water surface as the stage, around the decoration of flags, fans, parasols on the "stage". There are puppets (made of wood) performed by the control of the people behind the background through the rod and apparatus. There is no doubt that the drum is indispensable on the water puppet show. Besides the music, the light plays a vital role to make the performance more interesting. There is also a show of firework making the colourful night skies and the breathtaking scenery. In the past, the shows are held in ponds of the village and the puppeteer behind the curtain are locals of the village. Nowadays, Water puppetry usually performs in a pool of water in the theatre.
The performance is quite similar to both the daily life of farmers and common aspects of Vietnamese spiritual life. Through the show, people tend to be expressed their desire for a better life and happiness. Water puppet show has gradually become one of the must-watch shows in Vietnam for visitors to discover the Vietnam folk culture.
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