Quan Ho (love duet) singing at the festival (Source: VNA)
Hung Yen (VNA) – A festive atmosphere is pervading the Pho Hien relic complex in Pho Hien Street of the Red River Delta’s Hung Yen province, with various activities showcasing the historical and cultural values of the area.

The Pho Hien relic complex lies in the villages of Dang Chau and Ne Chau. It contains countless pagodas and temples. The site was once a bustling commercial port on the Red River, reaching its heyday in the 17th - 18th century.

Pho Hien was second only to the Imperial capital city of Thang Long as a trading point in Vietnam. It was well-known among foreign traders, especially those from the Netherlands, Japan, Spain, Portugal and China.

Along with goods, foreign traders brought various architecture styles, customs and cultures, which were imprinted in architectural works such as the Xich Dang literature temple, Chuong pagoda, Hien communal house, Mau, May and Kim Dang temples.

Apart from buildings used for religious and spiritual reasons, there are also markets, wells and cemeteries.

The variety of historical relic sites contributed to forming a string of traditional festivals.

The Pho Hien Cultural Festival takes place in the Pho Hien relic complex in the third lunar month every year. It features traditional rituals, games and art performances, and culinary art, bringing alive the history, spirituality and culture of the land.

It allows tourists to get insight into the culture and history of the ancient river port.

The event also helps promote the locality’s potential in tourism and service development and serves as an attractive spiritual and religious tourism destination.

Hung Yen boasts more than 1,200 relic sites and more than 400 local traditional festivals.

It is also the homeland of a number of national heroes and cultural celebrities, such as King Trieu Viet Vuong, who reigned from 548-571; Pham Ngu Lao, a general in the Tran dynasty in the 14th century; Hoang Hoa Tham, who led the Yen The rebellion against France in between 1884-1913; and late General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam, Nguyen Van Linh, who initiated the nation’s successful reform period.-VNA