Hung Kings’ Commemoration Day - Vietnam’s long-held tradition

Many Vietnamese have learned by heart a “six-eight” iambic couplet verse stating that no matter how far Vietnamese people travel, they always remember the Hung Kings’ Commemoration Day. This important holiday falls on the tenth day of the third lunar month in remembrance of Vietnam’s Hung Kings.

On the day, many Vietnamese from all walks of life take a pilgrimage to the land of the ancestors in Viet Tri city, Phu Tho province.

The festival features a wide array of folk activities, including a procession that offers incense, flowers, “banh chung” (square glutinous rice cake), and “banh giay” (a round sticky rice cake), which are related to Prince Lang Lieu and the perception of Sky and Earth of the ancestors.

The Hung Kings’ Commemoration Day is viewed as a celebration of great importance among Vietnamese citizens. It also acts as a symbol of cultural value, great solidarity, and sense of gratitude and worship towards the ancestors.

Historical files and figures from researchers show that Vietnam is home to 1,417 places of worship dedicated to the Hung Kings and related figures. Phu Tho alone has 183, but of these 61 relic sites have been lost.

Relic sites serve as proof that the worship of the Hung Kings is truly a unique and time-tested cultural heritage of the nation.

Inscribed in December 2012 on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, the worship of the Hung Kings in the northern province of Phu Tho embodies spiritual solidarity and provides an occasion to acknowledge the national origin and a source of Vietnamese cultural and moral identity./.