Titled Su Tich Cac Thanh Hoang Lang Thang Long – Hanoi (Legends on Village Saints in Thang Long – Hanoi), the book was edited by Prof Do Thi Hao, Vice Chairwoman of Hanoi Folk Arts & Literature Association, together with 50 researchers based on archives, collected materials and real field trips to historical and cultural relic sites in Hanoi.

In 480 pages, various customs concerning village saints, who have been worshipped at communal houses and temples in villages around the ancient Thang Long Citadel, are described. The saints might be heroes fighting against invaders, pioneers claiming new lands, and people who taught villagers new handicrafts to earn a living.

The stories have been written with vivid and familiar examples, which will provide readers with deep knowledge on Hanoi’s land and people throughout its thousand-year-history, according to the book’s introduction.

The book is published to help preserve and develop cultural heritage, as localities still worship saints but keep few documents on them, Hao said.

“Locals rarely know their village saint, what they have done for the people, or how the worship ceremony or village festival is conducted,” she said.

“The book is also useful for researchers on the citadel and Vietnam,” she added.

The book is in Vietnamese and priced at VND198,000 (US$8.5) at bookstores and online.