Water Puppet Show

Water Puppet Show

A traditional Vietnamese folk art that originates from the rice paddies of the Red River Delta, Watery Puppet shows have been performed in Vietnam for over 1,000 years. Original performed out in the fields, and the pools and ponds of villages, today you can enjoy a show in the comfort of specially adapted theatres. The surface of the pool itself serves as the stage, with all the puppet mechanism hidden under the water – the puppets are made of lacquered wood to keep them water tight. Water puppet shows focus on the lives of the farmers and rural communities of the country, weaving myth, legend and history through the stories to create something wonderfully Vietnamese. 

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Water Puppet Show Map

Seven Facts About
The Water Puppet Show

Water puppet shows were originally out on to celebrate the end of the rice harvest and religious holidays

Puppeteers have to stand in waist deep water while they are performing

The music for the puppet shows is provided by a traditional Vietnamese orchestra, including drums, wooden bells, cymbals, bamboo flutes and Dan bau

The story is told by cheo singers

A character called Chu Teu makes regular appearance is water puppet shows – his role is similar to that of jester

Back when the art of water puppetry began in the paddy fields, the puppeteers suffered from leech bites from standing in the water

The secrets of puppetry was kept quiet for centuries – there were even code words and dialects to keep it all quiet

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