The northern province of Phu Tho solemnly held an incense offering ceremony to commemorate the Hung Kings at Thuong Temple in the Hung Temple Historical Relic Site on April 10, with the participation of Party and State leaders.

This year’s the festival, with theme “Hung Kings Land – Sacred Root”, will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the recognition of the worship of the Hung Kings in Phu Tho by the UN heritage agency UNESCO as one of the world’s intangible cultural heritages in 2012.

Overcoming historical and spiritual values, the festival has become a convergence of patriotism and the great national unity spirit, honouring moral and cultural values imbued with identity. In which, the belief of Hung King worship rituals is the culmination of the national consciousness, and the Hung Kings Festival has become the largest cultural festival in the country.

This year, due to the COVID-19 epidemic, a number of traditional festival activities were held on an appropriate scale, both to ensure COVID-19 epidemic prevention and control, and to honour the value of intangible cultural heritages. The ceremony activities ensured dignified, solemn, respectful, and deep community character.

“Earlier, from April 1 (the 1st day of the third lunar month), many ceremonies and cultural activities with strong national identity were held at the Hung Temple Historical Relic Site and Viet Tri City to honour and practice Hung King worship rituals such as: incense offering ceremonies of districts, cities and towns at Hung Temple; and incense offering ceremonies to the legendary ancestors of Vietnam, Father Lac Long Quan and Mother Au Co.

Cultural activities organised at the festival included a thematic display of "Hung King worship rituals – Convergence and spread"; and the exhibition of documents and artifacts under the themes "Traces of the Ancient Vietnamese" and "Hung King worship rituals, Xoan singing in Phu Tho". The highlight of the event was the art programme and high-altitude fireworks performance at the Van Lang Park Stage on the evening of the 9th day of the third lunar month.

To welcome the people of the country and overseas Vietnamese to offer incense to commemorate the Hung Kings, the organising board of the Hung Kings Festival of Phu Tho Province has developed plans to ensure security and order, prevent and fight fires, as well as COVID-19 epidemic prevention and control; while at the same time ensuring safety for the Party, State, provinces, cities and people offering incense to commemorate the Hung Kings.

In addition, the relic area has been embellished with the planting of additional flowers and ornamental plants, and decorated with flowers to create accents in the main temple gate area and festival centre; while disinfectants were sprayed at incense offering sites and areas in the relic before and during ceremony activities.