In addition to Tet Holiday, The Hung Kings’ Temple Festival ( Giỗ Tổ Hùng Vương) is one of the most important national festival of Vietnam which take places annually from the 8th to the 11th day of the third lunar month in honor of the Hung Kings (the main festival day is on the 10th day). This public festival is a special occasion for every Vietnamese to not only remember their own origin but express the gratitude to ancestor of Vietnamese people. Every year in this national festival, Vietnamese people from all corners of the country and even oversea gather at Hung King Temple, Phu Tho Province to participate in solemn ceremonies.
There are two main parts of Hung Kings’ festival –the ceremonies and traditional games and contest
Two main ceremonies
The first ceremony is conducted from the 9th day’s afternoon. The village that is in charge of operating the procession gathers at the foot of Nghia Linh Mountain to prepare the palanquin and oblations including flowers, foods, and incense sticks. In the early morning of the 10th day, a big group of people in beautiful holiday clothes carrying colorful offerings, flags and flowers together with delegates head towards the mountain to offer wreaths from the leaders of Vietnamese government, representatives of Phu Tho and other provinces
The second ceremony is the incense of offering ritual which is carried out at the Upper Temple of Hung King Temple. Millions of people from all part of the country pray their ancestors for blessed lives
Traditional games and contest
Apart from the part of ceremonies, Hung Kings Festival also consist of many folk games like “đánh đu” (bamboo swings), ném còn (a kind of throwing a sacred ball through the ring), water puppet performance, lion dances. In particular, the contest on making the traditional ‘banh chung’ (square glutinous rice cake) and ‘banh day’ (rice cake) are attractive activities in the festival.
Besides, Cheo singing, Quan Ho singing, Xoan singing are also performed at the festival by local residents. This typical kind of singing is the intangible cultural heritage of Vietnam.
Joining the pilgrims to King Hung Temple which is ancestral land of Vietnamese people every year has increasingly become a beautiful tradition of the nation.
HUNG KINGS’ FESTIVAL ,