Hung Temple Festival, Phu Tho

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Hung Temple Festival, Phu Tho

vietnam visa   Hung Temple Festival, Phu Tho

There is a saying that is very famous and marks in Vietnamese mind. It is “although you can travel evey where, please remember the anniversary in march ten”. Every year, a national festival called Hung King temple festival is held to worship the Hung Kings, who were instrumental in the founding of the nation. The Hung King temple Festival is one of the most important and sacred festivals of the Vietnamese people, deeply embedded in the minds of every Vietnamese citizen, regardless of where they originate from. On September 3rd, 2004, the festival was decreed a national festival and will be commemorated on a scale that matches its historical significance with the attendance of Vietnam’s top government leaders. From 2007, the 10th of lunar March is a national holiday.
         Located on the Nghia Linh Mountain, Hy Lang commune, Phong Chau district, Phu Tho province, Hung Kinh temple is about 85 kilometers northwest of Hanoi. The festival used to last for 3 days from the 9th to the 11th of the 3rd month of the lunar calendar (lunar March). From 2010 the festival is from the 1st to the 10th of lunar March.

A day before the festival, ancient and modern flags are to be hung along the road leading from Viet Tri to Hung mountain. A large balloon will also publicise the festival to surrounding areas. On the eve of the festival, 100 flying lights are released into the night sky.

The festival begins with a palanquin procession performed by three villages of Co Tich, Vi Cuong and Trieu Phu. The procession carries bamboo elephants and wooden horses symbolizing the submission of animals to the Hung kings and the wedding of the Mountain Genie and Princess Ngoc Hoa. Banh chung (square sticky rice cake) and banh giay (round sticky rice cake) are indispensable offerings in the procession in order to honour the merit of the Hung kings who taught people to plant rice and to remind people of Lang Lieu who invented these cakes. The worship service is held on the 10th day of the third lunar month and commences with a flower ceremony with the participation of state representatives. Held in Thuong Temple, where the Hung kings used to worship deities with full rituals, the ceremony is conducted with the traditional rituals representing the whole nation. During that time, the nha to Do Ngai guild performs singing and dancing to welcome visitors. The descendants of the Hung kings throughout the country converge on the temple to offer incense.

 Next to the stage procession for deities, there are several marches in the procession such as the elephant march followed by the procession chair. These procession marches are conducted in Tien Cuong, Hy Cuong, Phuong Giao, and Co Tich villages. The procession marches are followed by a Xoan song performance (a classical type of song) in the Den Thuong, a “Ca Tru” (a kind of classical opera) in Den Ha (Lower Temple), and other activities like cross-bow shooting, rice cooking, swinging contests, cock fighting, and dragon dancing. Later on this day, a march of local people, including representatives of the country’s 54 ethnic minorities will be rounded off with a speech and the release of doves, carrying the hope for peace of Vietnamese people.
              Coming to the Hung King temple Festival,  tourists can participate in the special traditional cultural activities. It is also a sacred pilgrimage back to the origins of the Vietnamese culture so people usually show their love and pride of their homeland and ancestral land. During the festival, pilgrims always spend time visiting the temples and historic sites on Hung mountain. The Den Ha, memorial temple for the primal mother Au Co, is approximately 100 steps higher up, in a courtyard entered through a gate with a bell tower. The mother of the Hung Emperors and all Vietnamese is represented on the main altar; the left-hand altar is dedicated to the last Hung Emperor. The steps continue to the Den Trung (Middle Temple), the main temple, which dates from the 19th century. It is dedicated to the founder of the dynasty and all other Hung Emperors. On the summit of the wooded hill is the Den Thuong, which is dedicated to the gods of heaven and earth. Lying on the middle altar is the sword of Phu Dong, the country’s first hero; another altar is dedicated to the wives and daughters of the Hung Emperors. On the hill is a mausoleum for the dynasty. Upon the Stone of Oaths here King An Duong Vuong, founder of the realm of Au Lac, who came from the hills to the plain, swore to defend the land of his fathers.

This may be considered one of the most important festivals and the march is nearly coming, please quickly apply Vietnam visa and join this festival to learn more Vietnamese culture and history.

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