A palanquin parade kicked off the long-awaited Tran Temple Festival on March 1 in northern Nam Dinh province.

The festival will run until March 6, with a ceremony for distributing papers stamped with the holy royal seals taking place in the night of March 4 - the first full moon of the lunar new year.

The Ngoc Lo palanquin parade honouring Zen master King Tran Nhan Tong (1258-1308) started at Pho Minh Pagoda and ended at the nearby Thien Truong Temple. The custom took place this year for the first time since the early 20th century.

The stamps are part of a local tradition dating back to the Tran dynasty (1225-1400), according to researchers at the Vietnam Culture and Arts Institute.

Another festival honouring the Tran kings is held on March 3 night at Tran Temple in the northern province of Thai Binh.

A ceremony dedicated to the Tran Dynasty's ancestor, Tran Kinh, will be organised on March 8, the 18th day of the first lunar month.

While Thai Binh is considered the birthplace of the Tran kings' ancestors, the dynasty's first royal palaces were located in Nam Dinh.-VNA