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Tradition of calligraphy and painting at Hanoi's Temple of Literature for good fortunes: A travel note
During my recent visit to Hanoi's Temple of Literature in Vietnam in April this year, I noticed that visitors and tourists to the site either paint or get meaningful words written for them in calligraphy asking for fortunes, happiness, success, peace, prosperity and good luck in life.

I was told that even otherwise, special calligraphy and painting festivals are held here in which animal and nature paintings are done and hand written symbols are created on paper and cloth to represent humanity, beauty, love, peace and various aspects of a virtuous life.

Also, the UNESCO Club for Vietnamese Calligraphy keeps on organising calligraphy festivals during which calligraphy is done by the artists and enthusiasts on red or yellow paper in traditional script using a feather quill or traditional brushes to bring good health, longevity, peace, love, amity, luck and prosperity. It is more like a festival of creating Vietnamese good luck charms in calligraphy at the temple.

The festivals organised at the temple also feature Vietnamese folk paintings, which combine traditional cultural values with age-old artistic techniques developed locally. It is believed that such paintings and calligraphy drive away evil and bring good luck. The ease in the use of natural colour paints and simple brushes by Vietnamese people amazes the onlookers.

Tourists, apart from seeking luck also buy this kind of art to hang the pieces in their living room walls as decorations. Some others even request for special words to suit as presents for loved ones. Hanoians have blessings written in calligraphy.

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