The surface of a Dong Son bronze drum (Source: VNA)

Phu Tho (VNA)
– The echoes of ancient Dong Son bronze drums will be heard at the 2016 Hung Kings Temple Festival in Phu Tho province, which falls on April 16 this year.

Dong Son bronze drums (also called Heger Type I drums) are iconic items of the Dong Son culture, a Metal Age archaeological culture (700 B.C. – 100 AD), exemplifying the fine metalworking of the age.

The drums have been used as bronze musical instruments and traditional ritual objects since the time of Van Lang nation – the first nation in the history of Vietnam.

They are usually large, well-proportioned and decorated with patterns depicting ancient Vietnamese people.

The Dong Son culture got its name from Dong Son village on the bank of the Ma River in the central province of Thanh Hoa.

A number of bronze drums were discovered in 1924, marking the first evidence of the culture's existence. The largest drum was found in the old village of Khuon Muoi at the Nghia Linh Mountain.

The Hung Kings founded the first nation in the history of Vietnam, called Van Lang, in Phong Chau, now Phu Tho province.

Ruling the country through 18 generations (2879–258 BC), the Hung Kings taught locals 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 honour their history, a complex of temples was built on Nghia Linh Mountain, and the tenth day of the third lunar month serves as the national anniversary for the kings.

Rituals worshipping the Hung Kings were recognised as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritages of Humanity in 2012.-VNA