Festival pays tribute to national heroes
Update: Oct 02, 2012
A ceremony was held on September 30 to commemorate the 570th death anniversary of national hero and world cultural celebrity Nguyen Trai (1942-2012) at his native land in the northern province of Hai Duong.

The commemoration is part of the autumn festival in Con Son-Kiep Bac, which is a complex of relics associated with the life of many Vietnamese heroes and scholars, including Tran Hung Dao, Nguyen Trai, Tran Nguyen Dan and Chu Van An.

Nguyen Trai, pen name Uc Trai, was born in Chi Ngai commune, Chi Linh district in 1380. He followed Le Loi in the resistance war against the Ming invaders and made great contributions to the nation's glorious victories. He was also the author of a huge volume of literary works, including 110 poems and especially Binh Ngo Dai Cao (Great Proclamation upon the Pacification of the Wu), one of the country's first declarations of independence.

In 1980, on the occasion of his 600th birthday, Nguyen Trai was recognised by UNESCO as a world cultural celebrity, an eminent military expert and a talented politician.

Also on the day, a poem night featuring Nguyen Trai's immortal poems as well as songs praising the national hero and world cultural celebrity was organised at the temple dedicated to him in Chi Linh town.

The same day, a folk art performance and a seal opening ceremony took place in Kiep Bac relic to commemorate the 712th death anniversary of national hero Tran Quoc Tuan (also known as Tran Hung Dao).

The performance re-enacted the Hau thanh or Hau dong (going into trance), which was a traditional spiritual ritual in Kiep Bac to praise the merit, prestige and virtue of Tran Hung Dao, who was honoured as Saint Tran.

This year, the Hau thanh rituals will be performed until October 5, when the Con Son-Kiep Bac Festival wraps up.