Restoration progress on the Hung Kings Temple Relic Site in the northern midland province of Phu Tho has been pushed forward to welcome the national festival taking place on April 28, said director of the Site Luu Quang Huy.

The repairs are focused on the Thien Quang pagoda and the landscape around Den Ha (Lower Temple), costing over 67 billion VND (3.1 million USD).

A road to the temples in the sacred Nghia Linh Mountain was inaugurated to facilitate visitors to the relic site. In addition, numerous facilities have been built to ensure the cultural space in the site such as a pond, yard and parking lot.

Huy said that the Hung Kings Temple Relic Complex has become more magnificent than a decade ago thanks to the prioritised restoration investment.

He highlighted that from 2010, over 700 billion VND (32.6 million USD) has been allocated to the embellishment projects in the relic site.

Numerous celebratory activities will be held in the province from April 23-28 to commemorate the Hung Kings, the legendary founders of Van Lang – the first State in Vietnam’s history.

A ceremony marking the Hung Kings’ death anniversary will be organised on April 28, or the 10 th day of the third lunar month, known as the national commemorative day.

Before that, other ceremonies will be held to celebrate the death anniversary of the Hung Kings’ father Lac Long Quan and pay tribute to their mother Au Co on April 24.

Phu Tho authorities have assured that they have employed comprehensive measures to ensure security, order and safety for the festival, which expects to welcome 6-7 million visitors.

Vietnamese legend has it that Lac Long Quan, son of Kinh Duong Vuong, married Au Co, daughter of King De Lai. Au Co gave birth to a sack containing 100 eggs from which 100 children were born. The couple then decided to separate in order to populate the land and propagate the race, so half the children followed their mother to the highlands and the remaining went with their father to the sea.

The first child went with mother Au Co to Phong Chau, now Phu Tho province. He then became King Hung and founded the first nation in the history of Vietnam, called Van Lang.

Ruling the country over 18 generations, the Hung Kings taught the people how to grow wet rice. They chose Nghia Linh Mountain, the highest in the region, to perform rituals devoted to rice and sun deities to pray for lush crops.

To honour the great contributions of the Hung Kings, a complex of temples dedicated to them was built on Nghia Linh Mountain, and the tenth day of the third lunar month serves as the national commemorative anniversary.

The worshipping rituals of the Hung Kings are closely related to the ancestral worshipping tradition of most Vietnamese families which forms an important part of people's spiritual lives. It was recognised as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2012.-VNA