This year's festival will be held at the Lam Kinh historical site in Tho Xuan, Le Loi’s homeland, on September 18-19 (lunar August 21-22). The annual event aims to educate the younger generations the national tradition of ‘when drinking water, remember its source’ and commemorate Le Loi who, more than five hundred years ago, defeated the Chinese Ming invaders to win independence for his people and become the first king of the Le dynasty.
The first Lam Kinh festival was held after King Le Thai To's death on August 22, 1433. His body was taken to his hometown and worshipped at the Lam Kinh citadel, which was built the same year. The citadel eventually became an imperial temple of the late Le dynasty kings.
However, over time and through wars, many architectural structures inside the citadel have been destroyed. In recent years, the State has invested tens of billions of VND to restore and upgrade some of the most significant relics such as the main palace, tombs, King Le's temple, the temple for the national hero Le Lai, and the exhibition house.
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism also joined hands with the Thanh Hoa provincial authorities and local people to revive the Lam Kinh Festival, which has been held annually on a large scale since 1995, spreading to many other areas and attracting increasing numbers of visitors from home and abroad.
The festival features many ceremonial rites from the Le dynasty as well as art performances representing historical events such as the ceremony at which Le Loi and his soldiers expressed their faith in the country; Le Loi’s battles and his coronation; the liberation of Dong Quan citadel; and a procession of the ancestral tablet of General Le Lai, who sacrificed himself to save Le Loi. Numerous folk games, martial arts and wrestling competitions are held during the festival, as well as bronze and leather drum performances and exhibitions of fine art and Le dynasty antiques.
Thanh Hoa provincial authorities are now working hard to prepare for the upcoming Lam Kinh Festival. A well organised event will help promote the historical and cultural traditions of Thanh Hoa and its people and offer visitors a chance to learn about a part of the country’s glorious history.