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Pho Hien folk cultural festival kicks off in Hung Yen

The Pho Hien Folk Cultural Festival opened in the northern province of Hung Yen on April 21.

The festival is the largest cultural event in the province this year, in response to the 2018 National Tourism Year Ha Long - Quang Ninh.

During the festival, a series of activities will be organised, including traditional rituals, lion dance festivals, a palanquin procession, folk games, singing contests and an exhibition.

The cultural activities will re-enact images of Pho Hien in the 16th and 17th centuries, where it was once a bustling commercial port on the Red River. They will be organised mainly in the Pho Hien relic complex Hien communal house, Mau, Tran and May temples, Xich Dang literature temple and Chuong pagoda, among others.

An area introducing local specialties such as longan, lotus seed, honey, frankincense and silver jewellery, will be set up at the event.

Pho Hien was second only to the Imperial capital city of Thang Long as a trading point in Vietnam. It was well-known among foreign traders, especially those from the Netherlands, Japan, Spain, Portugal and China.

The Pho Hien Folk Cultural Festival takes place in the Pho Hien relic complex in the third lunar month every year. It features traditional rituals, games and art performances, and culinary art, bringing alive the history, spirituality and culture of the land.

It allows tourists to get insight into the culture and history of the ancient river port. The event also helps promote the locality’s potential in tourism and service development and serves as an attractive spiritual and religious tourism destination.

Hung Yen boasts more than 1,200 relic sites and more than 400 local traditional festivals.

It is also the homeland of a number of national heroes and cultural celebrities, such as King Trieu Viet Vuong, who reigned from 548-571; Pham Ngu Lao, a general in the Tran dynasty in the 14th century; Hoang Hoa Tham, who led the Yen The rebellion against France in between 1884-1913; and late General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam, Nguyen Van Linh, who initiated the nation’s successful reform period.