Hung Kings’ Commemoration To Be Held in Nearly 20 Countries

The overseas Vietnamese and international friends will celebrate “Vietnam Ancestral Global Day” in countries across the world.

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Hung Kings' Commemoration To Be Held in Nearly 20 Countries
The delegation of the Consulate General of Vietnam in Khon Kaen pays homage to Hung Kings – legendary founders of the nation in the previous year. Photo: VNA

On the occasion of the Hung Kings Temple Festival, which falls on April 29 this year (the 10th day of the third lunar month), Vietnamese communities, agencies, and organizations in countries across the world will celebrate the “Vietnam Ancestral Global Day” (VAGD), VNA & VOV reported.

The annual event, starting in 2015, aims to connect and engage overseas Vietnamese and international friends in activities to preserve Vietnamese cultural intangible heritage and cement national solidarity.

This year will see Vietnam Ancestral Global Day will consist of three parts, with the first themed Grateful to the Vietnamese Ancestors. The second part themed Going Back to Vietnam will present a variety of artwork and performances by overseas Vietnamese whilst honoring outstanding Vietnamese and foreign individuals and groups who have significantly contributed to society and the community.

The last part is an international conference that seeks to honor national values with the participation of speakers who are intellectuals, scientists, leaders, overseas Vietnamese students, expatriates, and international experts.

A ceremony will be held in German on April 24 and another in Laos on April 29 with the participation of delegates and overseas Vietnamese from nearly 20 countries and territories. The ceremonies will be broadcast to dozens of places all over the world via mass media and social network platforms.

Within the VAGD framework, incense offering to pay tribute to Hung Kings will be held in countries. Other activities include art and musical performances, scientific seminars and workshops, and ceremonies to honour Vietnamese and foreigners with outstanding contributions to the social community, the operation of VAGD Project Board, and the friendship between Vietnam and international friends.

Hung Kings' Commemoration To Be Held in Nearly 20 Countries
Tourists flock to Hung Kings’ Temples complex for the national festival to commemorate the founders of the Vietnamese nation. Photo: VOV

Legend has it that Lac Long Quan (Dragon King of Lac) married Au Co (the fairy daughter of De Lai). Au Co gave birth to a pouch filled with 100 eggs, which soon hatched into a hundred sons. Lac Long Quan went to the coast with 50 of the children, while Au Co went to the highlands with the rest.

Their eldest son was made king, who named the country Van Lang and set up the capital in Phong Chau (modern-day Viet Tri city in Phu Tho province), beginning the 18 generations of the Hung Kings.

The Hung Kings ruled Vietnam from 2879 BC until 258 BC and they are considered the founders of the nation. To honor the Kings, the 10th day of the third lunar month is designated as their national commemorative anniversary date.

The worshipping rituals of the Hung Kings are closely related to the ancestral worshipping tradition of most Vietnamese families which forms an important part of people’s spiritual life. It was recognized by UNESCO as the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2012.

The annual Hung Kings’ Temple Festival is usually celebrated by overseas Vietnamese like that at home. However, in the past, as expats held the celebrations sporadically and without a centralized format, they generally attracted little attention from community members and international friends.

Originally founded in 2015 by a number of scientists, intellectuals, and leaders of Vietnamese associations in seven countries, the Vietnam Ancestral Global Day non-profit socio-cultural project aims to connect overseas Vietnamese and international friends, and to preserve the intangible cultural heritage of humanity and the worship rituals of the Hung Kings Temple Festival.

Since 2015, the VAGD Project has moved towards three key goals. First, to preserve and spread the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Hung Kings worship rite abroad. Second, to hold discussions, seminars, and workshops to connect and promote intercultural exchange between Vietnamese and other cultures in the world. Finally, to build a strategy to spread and popularise Vietnamese cultural (spiritual) values in the life of overseas Vietnamese, host countries and international friends.

Hannah Nguyen