Over 2.5 million go on pilgrimage to ancestral land

Some 2.5 million people flocked to the northern midland province of Phu Tho to celebrate the annual Hung Kings Temple Festival as of April 23 (the eight day of the third lunar month), said the organising board.

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Phu
Tho (VNA)
– Some 2.5 million people flocked to the northern midland province of Phu Tho to celebrate
the annual Hung Kings Temple Festival as of April 23 (the eight day of the
third lunar month), said the organising board. 

During the last three days, a huge number of people
of all ages and religions arrived in the Hung Kings Temple Complex to pay
tribute to their ancestors and enjoy cultural activities held in the framework of
the festival.

On April
23, a palanquin and
offering procession was organised by seven communes and wards surrounding the
Hung Kings Temple Complex namely Chu Hoa, Hung Lo, Kim Duc, Van Phu, Hy Cuong of
Viet Tri city, and Tien Kien and Hung Son of Lam Thao district.

The procession was led by lion dancers, followed
by groups carrying national flag and festive flags and others playing ritual
drums and gongs.

Meanwhile, another group carried offerings of flowers, chung cakes (square
glutinous rice cakes), banh day (round glutinous rice cakes) and their local
specialties.

The same day’s morning, a chung cake and banh day
(day cake) making contest was held with the involvement of 13 local teams and
one team from the northern province of Thai Nguyen who each had 10 minutes to
make cakes.

A book festival and a photo exhibition also opened in the square of Van Lang
Park in Viet Tri city, displaying 15,000 book titles and 100 artworks highlighting
Phu Tho’s landscapes and people.

The local authorities of Phu Tho have prepared extensively for the Hung Kings
commemoration festival with both spiritual and festive ceremonies. This year’s
event is jointly organised by the southern provinces of Binh Duong and Kien
Giang, the central province of Quang Nam and Thai Nguyen. It runs from April 21
– April 25 (the 6th-10th of the third lunar month).

According to the organising board, this year’s
festival is being organised safely and efficiently, leaving generally positive
impression on visitors.

The 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 then 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 the Hung Kings. Ruling the country for 18
generations, the Hung 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.

To honour their great history, a complex of
temples dedicated to them was built on Nghia Linh Mountain, and the tenth day
of the third lunar month serves as the national commemorative anniversary for
the kings. 

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.-VNA

VNA