Co Loa Festival, Hanoi

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Co Loa Festival, Hanoi

vietnam visa   Co Loa Festival, Hanoi

Every year, Tet festival comes and goes, people in Co Loa Commune, Dong Anh District, Hanoi City are eager to hold a festival in the pagoda to honour An Duong Vuong King who built the Au Lac Kingdom and the Co Loa Citadel to fight the battle against enemies in III B.C. This festival often starts on the sixth of the 1st month and ends on the 16th of the same month.

Nowadays, in Co Loa citadel, there exists many vestiges still reminding us of the episodes of the legend. Co Loa Festival based on the legend of An Duong King of Au Lac and his magic cross-bow. According to the legend, Genius Kim Quy, a Golden Tortoise, gave Thuc Phan (An Duong Vuong) a magic crossbow which could kill tens of thousands of enemy soldiers at a shot. However, the King’s daughter My Chau told the secret of her father’s magic crossbow to her husband Trong Thuy, the son of rebel Chinese general Trieu Da, and thereby unwittingly enabled Trieu Da to conquer Co Loa in 208 B.C. Learned of the reason for his defeat, King An Duong is said to have killed his daughter and then committed suicide. It was An Duong Vuong who built Co Loa citadel and ruled Au Lac for 50 years, 3rd century B.C. Besides the ceremonial rites in honour of King An Duong Vuong at the Upper Temple, there is an imposing and solemn procession of 12 palankeens going round the Trong Thuy Well to the Village gate

The first day of the festival is on the 6th  but on the afternoon of the 5th day of the first lunar month, all of the eight communes (including Co Loa Commune and the establishing relations between seven communes) hold the incense offering ceremony at the communal house. At Thuong Temple, village officials and mandarins hold the similar ceremony and revise the King’s contributions and achievements.

On the 6th day of Tet, the literature procession is preceded by a flag that symbolizes the 5 elements (metal, wood, water, fire and earth), a musical company, and a sacrifice. Visiting Co Loa on the 6th of the 1st lunar month, you will have the opportunity to take part in Co Loa Festival organized by the 12 hamlets of the village. One carries a small statue of the King, the other a beheaded statue of his daughter which symbolizes for her punishment. The procession then continues to the Trong Thuy Well and back to the various hamlets, accompanied by firecrackers. Moreover, in the festival, people also put a lot of effort into celebrating traditional activities. The official festival day, which is on the 6th of the first lunar month, commences with processions of notables from surrounding villages to the King An Duong Temple where a miniature royal court containing an incense burner, a stone tablet and a funeral oration is placed in front of the two altars.

The first is a ceremony for the literature procession  until 12 pm in the King’s honour, accompanied by traditional music. Next to the ceremony is the procession of 12 villages to take the god from the temple to the communal house so that he can watch the festivities. This is the biggest procession with the participation of all the palanquins. When reaching the main entrance, the palanquins return to their villages. Co Loa’s procession and palanquin do the same rituals once more at the communal house. Besides there are a lot of other activities such as fireworks displays in the evening, traditional games like cock fighting, human chess, tug of war, card playing, wrestling, swing, rope climbing, martial arts, flag dancing and archery and performances of ca tru, cheo and tuong.

The 16th  is the final day of the festival, there will be a grand farewell ceremony will  at the temple. After the rituals which are the same as in the main festival day, the cult table of god will be returned to the sanctuary. Local people enjoy the god’s favour and expect a year of prosperity and protection from the god. The meaningful festival is always closed with a thanksgiving ceremony.

This festival is really nice and useful. If you want to join this festival and learn about its history, you can apply Vietnamvisa online and take a plane here.

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