At the temples dedicated to Lac Long Quan and Au Co in the Hung Kings relic site, on behalf of the Vietnamese people, leaders of Phu Tho province offered incense and offerings to express gratitude to the two for laying the foundations of the country.

This year, due to impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ceremony was streamlined, and participants also took preventive measures as recommended by health agencies.

Meanwhile, many activities within this year’s annual festival of the Hung Kings’ Temple, which falls on April 2 (the 10th day of the third lunar month), will be cancelled due to the pandemic.

However, certain commemoration services will still be performed, including the incense offering ceremony – the most important ritual dedicated to the legendary founders of the nation.

Legend has it that Lac Long Quan married Au Co, who later gave birth to a pouch filled with one hundred eggs, which soon hatched into a hundred sons, believed to be the ancestors of the Vietnamese nation. Their eldest son was made king, who named the country Van Lang and set up the capital in Phong Chau (nowadays Viet Tri city of Phu Tho province), beginning the era of the Hung Kings.

To honour their great contributions, a complex of temples dedicated to them was built on Nghia Linh Mountain in Phu Tho, and the 10th day of the third lunar month was designated as the national commemorative anniversary for the kings.

The worship of the Hung Kings was recognised as part of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2012.