The opening rite of the Tran Temple Festival in northern Thai Binh province last year. (Photo: VNA)

Thai Binh (VNA)
– The Tran Temple Festival, one of the biggest annual spring festivals in Vietnam, will open in the northern province of Thai Binh from the 13th to the 16th of the first lunar month, or February 20 to 23.

The festival will take place at the national historical complex of the Tran Kings’ shrines and tombs in Tien Duc commune, Hung Ha district.

It will start off the first day with an incense-offering rite at the Kings’ tombs and a ritual for the opening of the gates of Den Thanh (Thanh Temple), Den Mau (Mother Temple) and the Tran Kings’ shrines.

They will be followed by a water procession, in which about 1,000 people carry nine ornate palanquins with memorial plaques of the Kings of the Tran Dynasty and members of their royal families.

On the opening night, an hour-long performance titled “Sang mai mot vuong trieu” (A Dynasty Shines Forever) will recreate Tran Dynasty (1225-1440) milestones to pay tribute to the dynasty’s dedication to the country.

A series of folk games will also be organised during the festival, such as a rice-cooking challenge, clay firecrackers, chung (sticky rice) cake wrapping and tug of war, alongside traditional performances.

The Tran Temple Festival was recognised as a national intangible heritage in 2014. The historical complex of the Tran Kings’ shrines and tombs received special national relic status last year.

The Tran Dynasty repelled the Yuan-Mongols on three occasions, making it the most brilliant reign in Vietnamese history.

Thai Binh is considered the birthplace of the Tran Kings, while Nam Dinh was their first residential area. The festival is also held at the Tran temple complex in the neighbouring province of Nam Dinh during the first lunar month every year.-VNA