​Vietnam province aims to set Guinness World Record with 5,000 performing folk dance

Vietnam province aims to set Guinness World Record with 5,000 performing folk dance
People engage in a ‘xoe dance at Muong Lo Culture and Tourism Festival in Yen Bai Province, northern Vietnam, in 2018 in this provided photo.

A northern Vietnamese province is seeking to set a Guinness World Record by organizing a folk dance performance with 5,000 participants during a local tourism and culture festival scheduled for next week.

The mass mua xoe (xoe dance) performance will be held during the opening ceremony of the Muong Lo Culture and Tourism Festival, to be hosted by Yen Bai Province on September 20, the province’s deputy chairman Duong Van Tien told a press conference in Hanoi on Tuesday.

Muong Lo is a mountainous area home to a large population of Thai ethnic people.

As a traditional dance of the Thai ethnic minority, mua xoe involves people holding hands and performing six traditional acts, including welcoming, clapping hands, waving scarves, and offering wine.

Yen Bai authorities have sent an application to the Guinness World Records for registration of the biggest xoe dance ever staged in the world.

A Guinness representative will attend the festival to review and make a record of the dance, Le Hai Yen, director of the ceremony, said at the press briefing.

If recognized, the performance featuring 5,000 dancers who are local Thai residents and folk artisans will become the first-ever Vietnamese mass dance to set a Guinness World Record.

In addition to the record, Yen Bai authorities are also preparing an application to have the traditional folk dance recognized as a UNESCO intangible cultural heritage of humanity.

Xoe dance, native to Thai ethnicity people in Muong Lo, was recognized as Vietnam’s national intangible cultural heritage in 2015.

“That xoe dance can set a Guinness World Record may be a significant factor for UNESCO to consider recognizing it as a world intangible heritage,” Tien, the province’s deputy chairman, said.

The Muong Lo Culture and Tourism Festival is held annually to promote Yen Bai’s beautiful landscapes, unique culture, and tourism.

This year’s fest runs from September 20 to 25. The opening ceremony will take place at the stadium of Nghia Lo Town and be broadcast live on national channels VTV1 and VTV5.

A mass xoe dance with 2,013 participants was organized in the 2013 edition of the festival.

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