The northern province of Hai Duong on September 13 held a ceremony to start the Kiep Bac - Con Son Autumn Festival 2011 in commemoration of the death anniversary of national hero General Tran Hung Dao.

General Tran Dung Dao is one of the most revered men in Vietnam ’s history for his leading role in the country’s victory over the three invasion wars by the Mongolians in the 13 th century. He passed away on August 20 (Lunar calendar) in 1300.

This year’s festival is taking place from September 12-15 (the 15 th to 18 th day of the 8 th lunar month), featuring many traditional ceremonials such as Cao yet ceremony (ceremony for opening the temple), Khai an ceremony (ceremony of conferring seals), incense offering ceremony and walking procession.

One of the most expected events in the festival is a boat race in which hundreds of boats will re-enact the spectacle scene when the General lined up his 200,000 troops and 1,000 warships on the Luc Dau River urged along by drumming sounds and the screaming of excited people.

A ceremony to pray for peace and a night festival to float flower garlands and coloured lanterns on Luc Dau River will take place on Sept. 14.

Together with the rituals, there are also cultural, sports and entertainment activities, including wrestling, cock-fighting and chess competitions, boat race, dance performances, cheo (traditional opera) and quan ho (love duets) singing./.