Hanoi Hosts Festival to Honor Trung Sisters

The annual festival held in the outskirts of Hanoi pays homage to national heroines, celebrates the nation's strength and courage in the face of foreign invaders, and encourages young people to cherish their homeland.

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The 2023 Traditional Festival of Hat Mon Temple is set to take place from April 23 to 25 in Hat Mon Commune, Phuc Tho District, Hanoi. This exciting event promises to draw in hordes of locals and visitors alike, eager to experience the culture and traditions of the area. From food stalls to traditional music and performances, the festival is sure to be a memorable one! Don’t miss out on the opportunity to join in the celebration and soak up the atmosphere.

The procession of floating cakes to worship Trung Sisters will be held this year at Hat Mon Temple’s Traditional Festival. Photo: Trong Tung

The highlight of the festival is the floating cake and incense offering procession, held to commemorate the 1980th anniversary of the death of Hai Ba Trung, or the Trung Sisters (43-2023). The event is a solemn and solemnly celebrated occasion, honoring the two sisters’ courage and bravery in leading the first popular uprising against Chinese rule in Vietnam. Visitors to the festival will be able to witness the colorful and vibrant processions, as well as take part in the many traditional activities associated with the event.

According to Nguyen Quoc Thang, head of the management board of Hat Mon Temple Relics, the ritual of offering floating cakes to the Trung Sisters on their death anniversary, which falls on the 6th of March in the Lunar Calendar, dates back to around a thousand years ago. This custom has been practiced for many centuries and is believed to be a way to honor and commemorate the two heroic sisters who led a revolt against the Han Dynasty. By performing this ritual, the Vietnamese people pay homage to these two brave women and remember their sacrifices for the nation.

The most delectable and aesthetically pleasing plates of floating cakes, skilfully prepared by exemplary local households, are offered to the Trung Sisters. In the days leading up to the date, local people will abstain from consuming these cakes as a sign of respect for the two esteemed national heroines, he said.

This year’s festival is expected to draw participants from 11 villages in the vicinity.

The Trung Sisters in Dong Ho folk painting. File photo

Le Tien Hai, head of Phuc Tho District’s Culture and Information Office, announced that a detailed plan for the traditional festival of Hat Mon Temple had been completed. This plan includes a procession of floating cakes and an incense-burning ceremony.

He informed The Hanoi Times that various folk art performances and games, including human chess and tug-of-war, will be held over the course of the three-day festival to provide entertainment for attendees.

According to Doan Trung Tuan, Chairman of the Phuc Tho District People’s Committee, the Phuc Tho Temple Traditional Festival is an important annual cultural event that serves to remind people, particularly the younger generation, of the Trung Sisters’ heroic uprising and the Vietnamese people’s long-standing tradition of defending their sovereignty against foreign invaders. This event helps to instill a sense of pride in the Vietnamese nation and its history.

 The space of Hat Mon Temple in Hat Mon Commune of Phuc Tho District, Hanoi. Photo: Trong Tung

The Trung Sisters, also known as Trung Trac and Trung Nhi, were heroic figures in Vietnam’s first independence movement. In 40 AD, they led an uprising against the Chinese Han Dynasty, which was occupying the region at the time. In a remarkable feat, they were able to briefly establish an autonomous state, thus restoring Vietnamese sovereignty. Their bold actions and leadership skills remain celebrated to this day as a symbol of Vietnamese bravery and determination.

Trung Trac ascended the throne as Queen after expelling the foreign aggressors. Three years later, the sisters tragically took their own lives by leaping into the Hat Giang River following their defeat at the hands of the Chinese Han army.

The iconic uprising of Vietnamese women has gone down in history as a testament to the nation’s strength, patriotism, and the essential role of women in national construction and defense. It is a reminder of their remarkable courage and resilience in the face of adversity, and a source of inspiration for generations to come. This remarkable event serves as a reminder of the crucial part that Vietnamese women have played in the nation’s history, and of their ongoing commitment to building a stronger and more prosperous future.