The event, held by the Hanoi Women’s Union (HWU), was part of efforts to seek the national intangible cultural heritage status and even a global title for the traditional dress.

HWU President Le Kim Anh said the festival was one of the Ao Dai-related activities taking place nationwide, under the instruction of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, and the Vietnam Women’s Union Central Committee.

Ao Dai has established itself as a cultural symbol connected with the image of Vietnamese women. The dress has seen significant changes throughout the years but its traditional characteristics have still been preserved, contributing to enhancing the charming beauty of Vietnamese women.

Over the past hundreds of years, Ao Dai has been an endless source of inspiration for movies, music and fine arts, and part of the soul of Vietnamese people at home and abroad.

The word “Ao Dai” has been included in the Oxford dictionary that explains Ao Dai is a Vietnamese woman’s long-sleeved tunic with ankle-length panels at front and back, worn over trousers.

In the mind of Vietnamese people and the eyes of international friends, Ao Dai is a symbol of Vietnamese culture and quintessence.

The dress is worn on various occasions, from family gatherings to diplomatic events, art performances, festivals, especially the traditional Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday, fashion shows and beauty contests, both at home and abroad.

Unlike traditional dresses of many other countries worldwide, it is not complicated to put on the Ao Dai. While it is simple to wear, the dress highlights the beauty of women. Ao Dai, therefore, has become a popular attire of Vietnamese women./