With 2019 ending, you might see plenty of deals for New Year parties and festivals. Most of these events are about music and dance. How about celebrating a meaningful festival with your ancestors’ blessings? Don’t know what are talking about? Come, let’s take you on a ride to Vietnam for this special festival called Hung King Temple Festival 2020.
History associated with the festival
Beginning from the 8th to the 11th day of the third Lunar month yearly, the locals celebrate this festival as a tribute to the Hung Kings who were the traditional founders and first emperors of the nation. Although, the festival marks the Death Anniversary of the Hung Kings, there is no specific date of death for any Hung King. The ceremony takes place over several days but the major celebration occurs on the 10th day with a procession starting from the foot of the mountain, halting at every small temple before reaching the High Temple. Here, pilgrims offer prayers and incense to their ancestors.
During the festival, Vietnamese all over the world head to King Hung Temple on Nghia Linh Mountain, in the Phu Tho Province to take part in the celebrations. It’s not just culture, there’s entertainment too. To keep the festive spirit alive, the festival includes many folk games such as ‘danh du’ (bamboo swings), ‘nem con’ (a sacred ball is thrown through the ring), rice cooking competitions, lion dance, human chess, water puppet performance, the list is endless. Besides, the locals perform and sing ‘xoan’ and ‘cheo’. In fact, UNESCO has recognized these unique performances as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. By far, the highlight of the festival is the 10th day where there is a special bronze drum performance and a procession competition with 40 villages taking part in it. The people hold the solemn ceremony on the main festival day.
Food! Yes, food is definitely steals the limelight here. Legend has it that Lang Lieu was declared the next king by his father King Hung VI after he impressed him by serving a ‘chung’ cake that has a square shape symbolizing earth and a ‘day’ cake in the shape of a circle representing sky. The cakes are prepared from rice with green bean paste inside it. Since then ‘chung’ and ‘day’ cake have become part of the festivities and traditional dishes of Vietnam.
The Hùng King Festival is an opportunity not only for Vietnamese to visit their land of origin but for tourists all over the world to know about this country’s unique culture and beliefs.
Planning to feast with the Kings at Vietnam?
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