Making news

Annual ploughing festival opens in Ha Nam province

The annual Tich dien (ploughing) festival, held on the seventh day of the first lunar month to pray for a year of bumper harvests and prosperity, was held in the northern province of Ha Nam on January 31.

According to historical records, the festival dates back to 987 during the Le Dynasty when King Le Dai Hanh decided to plough a field in Doi Son commune, Duy Tien district in now Ha Nam province to encourage rice cultivation. The practice became an annual tradition held through many dynasties before falling into oblivion under the reign of King Khai Dinh of the Nguyen Dynasty. It was restored in 2009.

Rituals held within the festival include the procession of a huge drum and memorial tablet of King Le Dai Hanh. The procession then proceeds to the land where the king ploughed.

This is followed by a ceremony to pay homage to the God of Agriculture to pray for a high-yield season and prosperity.

A respected elderly farmer representing the locals assumes the role of King Le Dai Hanh to pray to ancestors and the god of farming. The farmer, dressed in a nine-dragon hat and royal robe, then descends to the field to plough. He is followed by a crowd throwing green pea, peanut and rice seeds.

A wide range of activities are held during the festival, including traditional wrestling, tug of war, drum performances, and buffalo decoration, among others.

On the occasion, the provincial People’s Committee presented certificates of new-style rural areas to seven communes across the localilty./