Vietnam Art Books -- More activities to celebrate Hung Kings Festival (May 1, 2007)

More activities to celebrate Hung Kings Festival (May 1, 2007)

More activities to celebrate Hung Kings Festival


More activities to celebrate Hung Kings Festival





A ceremony to pay tribute to Hung Kings in Suoi Tien Park.

Approval was recently given for workers around the country to add one more day to their yearly holidays on the occasion of the Hung Kings Anniversary. It will fall annually on March 10 in the lunar calendar (April 26) this year.

Due to the fact that it is the first time this holiday has been observed there are many activities going on around the country to celebrate the event.  The main theme of the celebrations is commemorating the history of Vietnam.  All around town banners are hanging along the streets providing information about national heroes, so as to remind the young generation about the past.

There is also a wide variety of entertainment planned for the Hung Kings Anniversary, which coincides with Unification Day and May Day, plus the weekend, making it a longer holiday for workers.  Many leisure centres around the country are organising a variety of activities to lure guests to their places for relaxation.

Phu Tho Province

The Hung Kings Festival has been celebrated with many activities from the 6th to the 10th day of the third lunar month (April 22 to 26) at the historical site of the Hung Kings Temple in Phu Tho Province, Viet Tri City and the areas surrounding this site.

The festival opens with the launching of the Hung Kings Fair with the participation of more than 100 businesses from the handicraft villages in and around Phu Tho Province from April 20 to 26 at the centre of Viet Tri City. Another fair of handicraft products and an art and cultural festival were also launched at the Hung Kings Temple on Nghia Linh Mountain in Phu Tho Province yesterday with activities such as folk musical performances, a traditional costume display, and more.

Tomorrow will be the cooking of square glutinous rice cakes and the making of round rice cake, and the display of food specialties of the region. A swimming competition in the Lo River will also be held tomorrow, and at night, there will be a fireworks display to welcome travellers from around the country.

On April 26, an incense burning ceremony to pay tribute to the Hung Kings will be held at Thuong Temple on Nghia Linh Mountain with the participation of the representatives of the Vietnamese government. The ceremony will start at the festival centre, proceed to Thuong Temple, the Hung Kings Tombs with flower offerings and an incense burning ceremony, and conclude at the bust of Uncle Ho.

At the festival lasting from April 20 to 26, there will be traditional cultural activities from the era of the Hung Kings, the founders of the country.  Other venues will have a palanquin procession, copper drum beating exhibits, cooking contests and folk sports such as crossbow shooting and chess.

Ho Chi Minh City Zoological and Botanical Garden (2B Nguyen Binh Khiem Street, District 1)

In Ho Chi Minh City, the official ceremony to pay tribute to the Hung Kings will be organised at the Hung Kings Temple in the Zoological and Botanical Garden on April 26. The ceremony will start at 7 a.m. with activities such as a palanquin procession, incense burning ceremony, dragon dances and more. In addition, on this day, there will be the inaugural presentation by some enterprises in Ho Chi Minh City of the copper calligraphy of the famous sentence by Uncle Ho about the Hung Kings.

The guests of honour in the ceremony will present 2,000 gifts to visitors and children with difficulties and there will be a dance and music performance dubbed “The legend of the Hung Kings” to raise funds for the poor.

In the garden, there will also be an area for folk games such as clay pig beating, climbing trees, footbridge crossing, blindfolded coconut picking, human chess, wrestling and more.  There will be other areas such as a calligraphy display area, a stage for children, mini-games and juggling. Visitors to the festival will also enjoy Vietnamese traditional dishes such as rice balls with sesame, grilled sweet potatoes, maniocs and seafood, square and round glutinous cakes and more.

In preparation for this first-ever event, Suoi Tien invested VND 4 billion to upgrade the King Hung Temple, which sits nestled in the park, and to build a stage with over 3,000 seats.

The park will kick off the festival on April 26 and close on May 1. During that time, there will be a Hung Kings parade in the park with the participation of some 1,000 people and representatives of 25 ethnic people coming from around the country, such as Thai, Tay, H’Mong, E De and K’Ho among others. In the parade there will be 600 pairs of banh chung or banh day, a sticky rice cake with origins from the Hung Kings legend. 

Performances of Vietnamese martial arts, Son Tinh Thuy Tinh legend and folk games will also take place during the festival.  

Entrance tickets are priced at VND 30,000 per adult and VND 16,000 per child. On the April 26, the park offers 50% discount for tickets.

In another part of town, organisers at Dam Sen Park are rolling up their sleeves to prepare some traditional activities for the event.  One that is sure to be popular is a huge banh chung, sticky rice cake, weighing around 2 tons and made from 1,000 kilogrammes of sticky rice, green peas and meat, and leaves to cover it.  On April 26, after the ceremonial offering of the banh chung to King Hung, the cake will be cut into pieces to serve guests in the way guests received gifts from their ancestors.

Also taking place will be boat racing in the large ponds nearby with some 40 racing teams.  The rowers will be students and workers. 

Another main attraction will be a strange performances including people pulling a 5-ton van with their teeth, pumping a tire with their eyes, exstinguishing a candle flame with their eyes and playing the flute through the nose, among others. (SGT)

Reprinted with permission from Nhan Dan Newspaper


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