A festival to commemorate the nation’s legendary mother, Au Co, officially started at Au Co Temple in Ha Hoa district in the northern midland province of Phu Tho on February 16, the seventh day of the first lunar month.

The festival is part of activities of the “Return to the root” 2013 tourism programme jointly organised by the northern provinces of Phu Tho, Yen Bai and Lao Cai.

Legend has it that Au Co, daughter of De Lai, descended to earth on the seventh day of the first lunar month. She married Lac Long Quan and later gave birth to 100 eggs that became 100 sons. The couple then parted due to their different origins. Lac Long Quan went to the sea with 50 children, and Au Co went to the mountains with the other half of the children.

Au Co taught local people to cultivate rice, plant mulberry trees, breed silkworms and weave fabric before she returned to heaven on the 25th day of the twelfth lunar month.

Earlier, on the sixth day of the first lunar month, numerous activities including art performances and traditional games were organised in the district in an effort to maintain and uphold local cultural characters and national solidarity.-VNA