16:54 | 05/04/2016 Society
Phu Tho province will spare no efforts to host the annual pilgrim festival dedicated to Vietnamese ancestors, which will be held in middle of this month, the province’s leaders said.
Ode to ancestors: Last year’s Hung Kings Temple Festival attracted seven million people (Photo: laodong.com.vn)
The annual Hung Kings Temple Festival commemorates the 18 Hung Kings, the country’s founders who launched a golden age in Vietnamese history. Initially celebrated as a local holiday, the ceremony was recognised as a national event in 2007. The ceremony takes place over several days, but the 10th day of the third lunar month is considered to be the most important one. It demonstrates a strong desire for national prosperity and symbolises community spirit. Attending the festival is a deeply-rooted custom in the minds of Vietnamese people in and outside the country.
This year, three provinces of Hung Yen, Binh Thuan and Ca Mau will represent the three regions of the country to co-host the national festival in Phu Tho province. Leaders, people and artists from the provinces will participate in the event.
Diverse activities will be held between April 12 and 16, such as banh chung and banh giay making contests, sports events, a folk song festival and a street carnival that will introduce the persity of the province’s folk culture to visitors.
A special art performance will be held at 8pm on April 12, and an incense-offering ceremony to the Hung Kings will be organised on the morning of April 16 at the Hung Kings Temple relics. The street carnival, a highlight of the festival, will take place on the night of April 12, in which 1,800 people will showcase folk art along Tran Phu Street and on the central stage of Viet Tri City. The carnival will end with fireworks.
The local art of xoan singing will be extensively featured through performances and a music festival.
The organising board said all preparations for the festival were almost over. The provincial authorities have set up an inter-sector examining board to detect and fine cases of violations of rules. Hotels or restaurants that overcharge visitors will be named in local media and heavily fined. Two hotlines will be available to provide support to visitors on all days of the festival.
Last year, the festival attracted seven million pilgrims, according to Ha Ke San, Deputy Chairman of the northern province’s People’s Committee.
The Hung Kings complex is located on Nghia Linh Mountain in Phong Chau district, about 100km northwest of Hanoi. It is a complex of ancient tombs, monuments and temples./.