Palanquin procession to Hung Kings Temple (Photo: VNA)
Phu Tho (VNA) - The death anniversary of the Hung Kings and the 2016 Hung Kings Temple Festival will take place from April 12-16 with a string of new activities, said the organising board.

There will be a number of exhibitions displaying photos, paintings, documents and objects that feature Hung King worshipping rituals, Xoan singing, which is now in the UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage in need of urgent protection, as well as land and people of Phu Tho.

Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Ha Ke San who is also head of the festival’s organising board, said activities will be held at the Hung Kings Temple Relic Site, Viet Tri city, communes around the Hung Kings Temple and areas around relics dedicated to worshipping Hung Kings and famous generals under the dynasty across the province.

The event will see the participation of the northern province of Vinh Phuc, the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai and the southern provinces of Binh Phuoc and Ca Mau.

Vietnamese legend has it that Lac Long Quan, son of Kinh Duong Vuong, married Au Co, daughter of King De Lai. Au Co gave birth to a sack containing 100 eggs from which 100 children were born. The couple then decided to separate in order to populate the land and propagate the race, so half the children followed their mother to the highlands and the remaining went with their father to the sea.

The first child went with mother Au Co to Phong Chau, now Phu Tho province. He then became King Hung and founded the first nation in the history of Vietnam, called Van Lang.

Ruling the country over 18 generations, the Hung Kings taught the people how to grow wet rice. They chose Nghia Linh Mountain, the highest in the region, to perform rituals devoted to rice and sun deities to pray for lush crops.

To honour the great contributions of the Hung Kings, a complex of temples dedicated to them was built on Nghia Linh Mountain, and the tenth day of the third lunar month serves as the national commemorative anniversary.

The worshipping rituals of the Hung Kings are closely related to the ancestral worshipping traditions of most Vietnamese families, which form an important part of their spiritual lives. It was recognised as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2012.-VNA