The national Ba Chua Xu temple festival kicked off in Chau Doc township, southern An Giang province on May 31. Tens of thousands of pilgrims from home and abroad rushed to the event.

During the five-day festival, rituals to welcome and cleanse Ba Chua Xu statue will get underway, among others.

The temple dedicated to Ba Chua Xu, known as Lady of the Realm, was placed at the foot of Xu Mountain. It has also been listed as a national relic site.

Legend has it that villagers found a statue of a lady dating back to the 6 th century in the forest. They built a temple in her honour, hoping that she would bring them better crops and lives.

Recognised as an event of national scale in 2002, the festival draws 80 percent of visitors to An Giang province each year.

It is held annually from the 23 rd to the 27 th of the fourth lunar month.-VNA