Hung Kings’ Temple Festival – A sacred pilgrimage back to the origins of the nation

Hung Kings’ Temple festival annually takes place from the 8th to the 11th of the third month in lunar calendar
All Vietnamese people, no matter where they are, memorize the death anniversary of their ancestors, Hung Kings’ Temple festival, which falls on the 10th day of the third lunar month. Travel to Hung Temple festival with: Mekong river cruise VietnamLocated on the 175-meter-high Nghia Linh Mountain, in Phong Chau District, Phu Tho Province, Hung Kings Temple is a complex of majestic buildings: Thuong, Trung, Ha and Gieng Temple and Pagoda, and the Hung Kings Tomb.

History of the Hung Kings’ Temple Festival

Hung Kings’ Temple festival annually takes place from the 8th to the 11th of the third month in lunar calendar

Hung Kings’ Temple festival annually takes place from the 8th to the 11th of the third month in lunar calendar- source: internet

It is said that Mother Au Co gave birth to a pouch including100 eggs, all of which hatched to produce 100 children. The eldest child became Hung Vuong and came to power in 2879 BC. Building a capital in Phong Chau and naming the country Van Lang, Hung King ruled an area covering what is now part of southern China and North Vietnam. Saigon phnom penh boat

Even though they officially named this festival Death Anniversary of the Hung Kings, this date does not mark the death of any particular Hung King but honors their grand contribution to Vietnam as the first emperors and the traditional founders of the nation, who are instrumental in the founding of the nation.

How is Hung Kings’ Temple Festival celebrated?

The main festival day

The main festival day- source: internet

Hung Kings’ Temple festival annually takes place from the 8th to the 11th of the third month in lunar calendar with the main festival day being on the 10th when Vietnamese working people have an official day off. Every year, the key ceremony is held at the Hung Temple on Nghia Linh Mountain in Phu Tho Province, about 85km to the northwest of Hanoi. Starting at the foot of the mountain, a procession stops at every temple on the ascent before pilgrims offer incense and prayers to the Hung Kings once they approach the Hung Temple. Like other festivals in North Vietnam, this festival consists of two parts: the first one if incense-offering ceremony and the other are recreational activities.

Held at Upper temple to express the respect and gratitude of Dragon and Fairy descendants to the ancestors, the incense-offering ceremony is an important part of this festival. A cow, a goat, a pig, Chung cake, Day cake together with a lavish five-fruit feast is included in sacrifices. Right after hearing the sound of an old bronze drum, the state representatives, accompanied with pilgrims and the elders around will conduct the incense-offering rite.

Offering procession

Offering procession- source: internet

The recreational activities jubilantly carry out around the temples with a mixture of not only traditional but also modern activities. All of them are very interesting, the procession marches, Ca Tru singing performance in Lower temple and Xoan singing performance in Upper temple are the most outstanding ones. Dragon dancing, swinging contests, rice cooking, cross-bow shooting and cock fighting also draw many travelers’ attention.

Let’s contemplate this cultural beauty!

Hung Kings’ Festival offers an amazing chance for Vietnamese to pay a visit to their land of origin. One day before the festival, they hang a lot of ancient and modern flags along the road leading from Viet Tri to Hung mountain to publish the festival to surrounding areas. On the festival’s eve, they release 100 flying lights into the night sky. In Upper Temple (Den Thuong) where the Hung Kings used to worship deities with full rituals, the sacrifices consist of a lavish five-fruit feast.

On the same day, a contest for making Chung Cake (square cake) and Day Cake (circle cake) is organized to remind people of the Lang Lieu Legend (the 18th Hung King who invented these two kinds of cakes), and the merit of the Hung Kings who taught Vietnamese to grow rice. Two winners will have a chance to offer their traditional cakes to the Hung Kings on the main festival day.

Chung Cake-making contest

Chung Cake-making contest- source: internet

After the stage procession for deities, there are some marches in the procession such as the elephant march followed by the procession chair, a Ca Tru (a kind of classical opera) in Den Ha (Lower Temple), a Xoan song performance (a classical type of song) in the Upper Temple as well as other activities.

On the day of the Hung Kings’ Temple Festival, the Vietnamese always jubilantly participate in the festival with religious belief, their love and pride of their ancestral land deeply imbedded in their minds. Joining in Hung Kings’ Temple Festival, you will definitely get to know more about Vietnam’s history as well as cultural activities.

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