hung king festival

hung king festival

The Hung King temple is located on the Nghia Linh Mountain, Hy Lang commune, Phong Chau district, Phu Tho province, 85 kilometers northwest of Hanoi. 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 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 main worship service is held early the following morning, 10th day, beginning with a flower ceremony. In Den Thuong (Upper Temple) where the Hung Kings used to worship deities with full rituals, the ceremony consists of a lavish five-fruit feast. Banh chung (square cake) and banh giay (circle cake) are also served to remind people of the Lang Lieu Legend (the 18th Hung King who invented these cakes), and the merit of the Hung Kings who taught people to grow rice.

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.


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