Hanoi Celebrates Spring Festival with Enthusiasm

The Sai Temple Festival is an extraordinary celebration in the heart of the city.


The Sai Temple Festival in Dong Anh District, Hanoi, is held annually on the 11th day of the first lunar month, which falls on February 20 this year. The festival commemorates the legend of King An Duong Vuong, who constructed the Co Loa Citadel in 258 B.C. According to the legend, the king’s construction was disrupted by the Bach Ke Tinh, also known as the White Cock Devil.

The highlight of the Millennium Festival is the grand procession of the King and the Lord. This ancient ritual is believed to ward off evil spirits and bring good luck to the participants.

The roles of “King” and “Lord” in the Sai Temple Festival are played by two respected village elders. Photo: Huy Pham/The Hanoi Times
The villagers of Sai spend several months preparing for this vibrant and joyous festival.
Individuals who portray the roles of kings, lords, or mandarins must possess good virtues and have a positive reputation within the community.
Elders above the age of 70, who assume the roles of “King” or “Lord,” first serve as “Mandarins” in previous editions of the festival.
Le Vinh Lo, 75, paints his face in the majestic and austere color of red as he embodies the role of the “Lord”.
Meanwhile, Tran Tien Tinh, 72, portrays the “King” with a gentler white-painted face.
Aside from the “King” and “Lord”, there are also “Mandarins” dressed in blue court attire.
The “Lord” performs ritual sacrifices to the saints revered by the villagers at two sacred temples in the area.
The Sai Temple Festival has been cherished and celebrated by the villagers for hundreds of years.
The Spring Festival attracts thousands of residents and tourists every year, adding to the festive atmosphere.