Quang Ninh: Cua Ong Temple Festival to return in larger scale this month hinh anh 1At an edition of the festival (Photo: qtv.vn)
Quang Ninh (VNA) - The Cua Ong Temple Festival, which was recognised as national special intangible cultural heritage in 2016, is set to take place in Cam Pha city, the northern coastal province of Quang Ninh, on August 27-30 or the four day of the 8th lunar month.

Cua Ong Temple, the venue of the event, is dedicated to Tran Quoc Tang (1252 – 1313), a hero in the resistance wars against the Mongol invaders and guarding the country’s northeastern region under the Tran Dynasty (1225 – 1400). He was the third son of General Tran Quoc Tuan, who led Dai Viet (the name of Vietnam at that time) to two of the three victories against the Mongol invaders, in 1285 and 1288.

The festival is held to commemorate Tran Quoc Tang’s contributions to defeating enemies and brought peace to the region.

This year, the festival will be organised on a large scale, covering an opening and closing ceremonies, rituals, a palanquin procession and a folk games festival.

It will also treat visitors to a concert performed by local artists and the Vietnam National Academy of Music.

So far, all related preparation works have been completed. The festival is expected to welcome approximately 3,000 attendees from across the nation.

Cua Ong Temple is located on a hill that is about 100 metres high in Cua Ong ward of Cam Pha city, the northeastern province of Quang Ninh. It is around 40km to the northeast of downtown Ha Long, another city of Quang Ninh. 

The spiritual place, formally called Cua Suot Temple, is one of the famous vestiges of the Tran dynasty in the northeast region. It has three areas: Lower Temple, Middle Temple and Upper Temple, facing the majestic Bai Tu Long Bay which is close to the World Heritage Ha Long Bay.

Quang Ninh: Cua Ong Temple Festival to return in larger scale this month hinh anh 2Illustrative photo (Source: baoquangninh.com.vn)
Cua Ong Temple was just a small shrine when it was first built over 700 years ago. It has been restored and expanded for many times in history. Apart from Tran Quoc Tang, the complex also worships his father Tran Quoc Tuan, also known as Tran Hung Dao, along with many other contributors to the triumphs over the Mongol invaders in the 13th century like Pham Ngu Lao, Da Tuong, Yet Kieu, Nguyen Khoai, Huyen Du, Cao Mang, Do Hanh, and Tran Quoc Toan. The gods’ stories, royal appointment documents, as well as statues dating back to the 19th century kept at Cua Ong Temple are valuable historical records that tell later generations about the national construction and safeguarding process of the Tran Dynasty.

One of the temples in this complex is dedicated to the Mother Goddesses. The practices related to the Vietnamese people’s beliefs in the Mother Goddesses of Three Realms (heaven, water, and mountains and forests), which have been passed down from generation to generation, were inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2016. The worship of the Mother Goddesses also contributes to the appreciation of women and their roles in society.

At present, Cua Ong Temple is one of the most famous destinations of spiritual tourism in Quang Ninh province and also among the most beautiful temples in Vietnam, attracting tens of thousands of tourists every year. In addition, its festival, held in every even year, is the biggest of its kind in Cam Pha, attracting crowds of visitors from far and wide.

In recent years, efforts have been made to conserve and promote the value of the temple complex. Notably, a project by Cam Pha city starting in 2017 has expanded the site by 180,000 sq.m. Its cost neared 800 billion VND (34.16 million USD)./.