According to historical records, the founder of the festival is General Trinh Quoc Bao who served during the reign of King Ly Thanh Tong (1054 – 1072) and is credited for defeating the Chiem Thanh invaders. To prepare for the fight against the invaders who used elephant troops, the general ordered his soldiers to build bamboo elephants to practice with. During the battle, bamboo elephants which were glued with fireworks attached to them were burned, helping to defeat the invaders’ troops.
In the spring of 1068 when the country was peaceful, the king ordered the festival to begin to welcome spring and the martial arts game with bamboo elephants was reproduced. In 1085, General Trinh Quoc Bao retired and returned his homeland in Trinh Xa village in Yen Ninh commune, Yen Dinh district where he handed down the martial arts game to the villagers. However, the game wasn’t played again until 2007.
To start the Tro Chieng festival, the villager elderly conduct
a rite of informing the village patron saint about life of villagers of the past year.
The rite of processing the village patron saint’s altar to the festival’s playground
where the elephant fighting contest will take place.
12 teams gather at Nhat Communal House to process the village patron saint to the festival’s playground.
The procession parades around the village.
The Cheo singing team in the procession.
A ceremony of choosing a son –in-law.
The girl selects a farmer to get married. The couple is given presents.
A reproduction of boats of traders from Japan and the Netherlands to Chieng village to buy agricultural products.
A reproduction of Japanese traders buying silk in Chieng village.
A reproduction of Dutch traders buying rice in Chieng village.
Chieng village’s men disguise into traders from foreign countries to the villager to buy products.
A reproduction of the battle to feat over the ChiemThanh invaders.
An item at the festival’s playground.
The performance of men who beat a ball hang in the middle of the festival’s playground.
The team which beats the target more will become the winner.
An item of Teu climbing up a tree.
The item of dragon fighting.
In dragon fighting, the winner will have a carp in its head.
Elephants attach each other by their horns.
The festival ends with a procession of the village patron saint’s altar to Nhat Communal House.