Hanoi's Loyalty Oath Festival listed as National Intangible Cultural Heritage
Update: Jun 06, 2023
The Loyalty Oath Festival of Dong Co Temple in Tay Ho District, Hanoi has been listed as a national intangible cultural heritage by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism for its historical and cultural values.

Dong Co Temple Loyalty Oath Festival has been held in the capital for nearly 1,000 years.

The festival is the only place where mandarins (in ancient times) and party members today take an oath of loyalty to the country. It's also an opportunity for the people to thank their forefathers and offer prayers for national peace and prosperity.

 A traditional ritual during the Loyalty Oath Festival of Dong Co Temple. Photo: VNA

In 1028, Dong Co Temple was built at the coònluence of Thien Phu and To Lich rivers in Dong Xa Village, now 353 Thuy Khue Street, Tay Ho District, Hanoi.

King Ly Thai Tong ordered the Festival of Loyalty Oath to be held annually at Dong Co Temple, where all court dignitaries, without exception, had to swear allegiance to the king and the country. The festival is held on the fourth day of the fourth lunar month, which falls on May 22 this year.

Although 995 years have passed, the cultural identity of the Dong Co Temple festival has remained intact.

According to Do Dinh Hong, Director of Hanoi's Department of Culture and Sports, the Dong Co Temple Festival was the court's festival.

"The national festival for allegiance swearing festival has a special significance, so the King and the court took great care of it. Most of the court dignitaries and the people of Thang Long Citadel attended the festival with a spirit of loyalty and filial piety, praying for the nation's peace and prosperity. In the Tran Dynasty, the festival upheld the integrity of court officials," Hong said.

Apart from the Loyalty Oath Festival of Dong Co Temple, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has listed 11 other cultural relics on the National Intangible Cultural Heritage List, including folk performing arts, traditional festivals and traditional crafts.

The fire dance ceremony of Pa Then people has been recognized as a national intangible cultural heritage. Photo: VNA

Among the newly recognized heritages, there are four in the northwestern province of Tuyen Quang, namely: "Fire Dance Ceremony of Pa Then People"; "Hong Thai Communal House Festival"; "Tay People's Knowledge of Water"; and "Tay People's Knowledge and Practices of Wet Rice Cultivation".

The northwestern province of Dien Bien has four new heritages, including "Dance Art of the Lao People"; "White Hmong Family Lineage Festival"; "Costume Art of the Ha Nhi People"; and "Blacksmithing of the Mong People".

The other three are "Tay Lullaby"; "Tay Brocade Weaving"; and "Mong Khen Art".

Ngo Minh

Hanoi Times - hanoitimes.vn - June 5, 2023