Hung King Commemoration (or Hung King Temple Festival) is a traditionally national festival of Vietnam, which takes place annually from 8th to 11th day of third lunar month in the year. This is an occasion for Vietnamese people to show their honor and gratitude to the origins and ancestors.
According to the legend, once upon a time, the daughter of Than Nong – Au Co, married with the son of Neptune – Lac Long Quan, and gave birth to one hundred children. A half of them following Lac Long Quan to the sea, and the rest settled on the mountain with their mother. The eldest son establishes himself as the King of Van Lang and built up the Kingdom at Phong Chau, Phu Tho province nowadays.
Therefore, this festival is known as the death anniversary of Hung Kings (10th of that month), the first kings have great contribution in building and protecting countries from foreign invaders in the early days. Besides, this meaningful event has purpose of educating Vietnamese young generation to remember their traditional root and proud to be children of the Fairy and the Dragon.
During the commemoration, all Vietnamese people turn their soul and their heart to Nghia Linh Mountain, Viet Tri city, Phu Tho province to take part in ceremony activities such as processions and oblations. Sacrifices consist of many things such as a pig, a goat, a cow, Chung cake, Day cake and a lavish five-fruit feast. After listening to oration, the pilgrims will conduct the incense-offering rite, show their respect to the ancestor and pray for a blessed live.
At the same time, the Hung King Temple Festival consists of many entertaining activities, such as performance of “Xoan” singing, Cheo singing, as well as games of chess playing, rice cooking, cock fighting and dragon dancing which attract many attentions.
In conclusion, Hung King Commemoration is a culture beauty in the Vietnamese’s spiritual life. It has become a symbol of the strength of national unity; enhance country’s long lasting tradition of gratitude, patriotism and national solidarity.