The seventh annual ploughing festival to bring a year of favourable weather and a bumper crop season took place on February 25 at Doi Son commune, Duy Tien district in the Red River Delta province of Ha Nam.

The three-day festival consists of a ceremony and festival activities. The ceremony includes the procession of a huge drum and King Le Dai Hanh’s ancestral tablet from Long Doi Son Pagoda to the foot of the Doi Mountain to merge with the processions of the village’s guardian god and the father of Doi Tam drum-making.

The joint procession proceeds to the land King Le Dai Hanh ploughed and is followed by a ceremony paying respect to the God of Agriculture to pray for a high-yield season, strong development and prosperity.

A respected older farmer then represents the King ascending the platform to pray to the God. The old farmer will dress himself with a nine-dragon hat and royal robe and descend to the field and plough, which is pulled by a buffalo. He is followed by a crowd spreading green pea, peanut, and rice seeds.

After the farmer finishes his work, the officials and other old farmers perform the ploughing ritual.

Legend has it that in the year of 987 King Le Dai Hanh came to the foot of the Doi Mountain to hold the first ploughing ceremony. The festival has since then become a tradition held through many dynasties before it disappeared.

The tradition was restored in 2007.-VNA