Making news

Hung Kings Temple festival a panoply of cultural activities

The annual Hung Kings Temple festival hosted by the northern midlands province of Phu Tho will be held from April 21-25 (6th to 10th day of the third lunar month) with an array of cultural festivities.

The events include a ceremony dedicated to the Hung Kings, a memorial to mark the death of great legendary father Lac Long Quan and incense offering to the great mother Au Co.

Communities in Phu Tho province will hold performances, including the Dao Xa elephant procession ceremony. Xoan singing will be performed at the Lai Len Temple and the Thet and Kim Dai communal houses in Kim Duc and Hung Lo communes of Viet Tri city.

Dozens of exhibitions will take place to advertise local culture while cake making contests, sport tournaments and folk games will be featured throughout the festival.

In addition, a night market and a food street will be arranged in a pedestrian zone to entertain tourists.

Other festivities will be contributed by four provinces: Thai Nguyen, Quang Nam, Binh Duong and Kien Giang.

According to Nguyen Dac Thuy, Director of the provincial department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Hung Kings Temple festival has become a standout festival that attracts a throng of domestic visitors and Vietnamese expatriates every year.

Vietnamese legend has it that Lac Long Quan, whose real name was Sung Lam, the son of Kinh Duong Vuong and Than Long Nu, married the daughter of Heaven’s God De Lai, fairy Au Co.

Au Co then gave birth to a pouch filled with 100 eggs, which soon hatched into 100 sons, believed to be Vietnam’s ancestors.

The couple decided to separate in order to populate the land. Half of the children followed their mother to the highlands, while the rest went with their father to the sea.

Their eldest son was made the king, who named the country Van Lang and set up the capital in Phong Chau (nowadays Viet Tri city), starting the 18 reigns of Hung Kings. Ruling the country for 18 generations, the Hùng Kings taught the people how to grow wet rice. They chose Nghia Linh Mountain, the highest in the region, to perform rituals devoted to rice and sun deities to pray.

The worshipping rituals of the Hung Kings are related to ancestral worshipping traditions of most Vietnamese families, which forms an important part of people’s spiritual lives. It was recognised by the UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2012.

The Commemoration of Lac Long Quan, Au Co and the Hung Kings is held annually at the Hung Kings Temple. Millions of people flock to the site to attend the Hung Kings Temple festival every year.