Food parcels that contained corn, soybeans and rice - key feature of the Tran Thuong festival   (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Tran Thuong Temple’s food-distributing festival in northern Ha Nam province and Tran Kings temple’s seal opening ceremony in the other northern province of Nam Dinh took place on March 1, the 14th day of the first lunar month.

Tran Thuong temple is dedicated to Tran Hung Dao (1228-1300), the supreme commander of Vietnam in the Tran Dynasty, who repelled three major Mongolian invasions in the 13th century. It is located in Nhan Dao commune of Ly Nhan district, which was chosen by Tran Hung Dao as a food storage area to supply his army during the fight against the invaders.

In honour of the past event, a food-distributing festival is held annually at Tran Thuong Temple on the 14th day of the first lunar month.   

Traditional rituals performed at Tran Thuong Temple's food-distributing festival (Photo: VNA)
(Photo: VNA)

This year, the festival was attended by Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh, leaders from ministries, agencies and Ha Nam province, as well as many locals and visitors. About 180,000 food parcels that contained corn, soybeans and rice – staples produced by Ly Nhan residents – were handed out to participants.

Food parcels are distributed to visitors (Photo: VNA)
A crowd gathers at the festival (Photo: VNA)

Also on March 1, a seal opening ceremony began at the Tran Kings temple relic site in Nam Dinh to pray for a new year of happiness and a bumper harvest. Thousands of people flocked to the event.

Thousands of people are waiting for the seals to be distributed. (Photo: VNA)

The ceremony re-enacted a custom dating back to the Tran Dynasty (1225-1400), when mandarins took out their seals after the lunar New Year holiday (Tet) to resume administrative activities, including conferring titles.

As is tradition, this year’s event opened with a procession to take the seal from Co Trach temple to Thien Truong temple, where 14 kings of the Tran Dynasty are worshipped.

Following a short speech by Chairman of the Nam Dinh People’s Committee Le Quoc Chinh praising the Tran Dynasty, the seal opening ceremony was held in line with the traditional rites, participated by 100 Tuc Mac villagers.

Scene taken during the traditional seal-opening ceremony (Photo: VNA)

The site was closed to visitors during the ceremony and then opened at 23:55 pm last night, with stamps distributed among residents and visitors starting 5am on March 2 or the 15th day of the first lunar month.  

People line up from early morning waiting to receive lucky seals (Photo: VNA)

Local elderly people are selected to be seal distributors (Photo: VNA)

Lucky seal distribution (Photo: VNA)

A man just receives his lucky seal (Photo: VNA)

It has become a tradition for Vietnamese to join the ceremony to get a stamp in hope for good luck and happiness.-VNA