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, Vice Chairman of the Phu Tho People’s Committee Ha Ke San told the press on April 16.
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, added the official, who is also Head of the Hung Kings Temple Festival’s organising board.
He continued to say that a tourism fair for the northwest region will also take place with eight northwest provinces and Japan’s Nara prefecture. It aims to increase tourism cooperation among the localities and build a brand name for regional tourism.
An exhibition of items donated to the Temple, a cooking contest of traditional “chung” and “giay” cakes and cultural performances from attending localities will also be part of the festival.
“Xoan” singing programmes will be held to promote Phu Tho’s folk singing, given it has been included as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding, San noted.
He told Viet Nam News Agency reporters in a separate interview that Phu Tho province has employed comprehensive measures to ensure security, order and safety of the event, as this year’s festival 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 Viet Nam, 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.