Among Vietnam’s most cherished celebrations is the Hung King temple festival, a time-honored event deeply rooted in the country's history. As an integral part of Vietnam travel, this festival pays homage to the revered Hung Kings. Join us on a captivating journey through time as we delve into the captivating traditions and spiritual significance of this cherished annual gathering.
1. A glance at Hung King temple festival
1.1. What is Hung King festival?
Hung King temple festival, also known as the Hung Kings' Death Anniversary, is one of the most significant and revered Vietnam festivals. The Hung King temple festival is annually held on the tenth day of the third lunar month to honor the legendary Hung Kings, who are considered the ancient ancestors and founders of the Vietnamese nation. This historical celebration holds profound spiritual significance for the Vietnamese people, as it pays homage to the contributions and sacrifices made by the Hung Kings in shaping the country's identity and civilization.
1.2. History of Hung King temple festival
The origins of Hung King temple festival are steeped in ancient legend, tracing back thousands of years to the era of the mythical Lac Long Quan. Known for his superhuman strength and affinity for water, Lac Long Quan governed the Lac-Viet tribe and laid the foundation for what would become Vietnam. The turning point came when De Lai, king of a northern tribe, visited the south with his daughter Au Co. Admiring Lac Long Quan's talents, De Lai arranged for his daughter to marry the legendary king.
Au Co became pregnant and gave birth to a miraculous membranous sac that held one hundred eggs. Astonishingly, each egg hatched into a beautiful baby, giving birth to the ancestors of Vietnam, known as "Dragon and Fairy descendants." The eldest son of Lac Long Quan and Au Co, King Hung I, established his realm at Phong Chau, now part of Phu Tho Province, and became the first of the 18 Hung Kings who ruled the land from 2879 to 258 BC.
The reign of the Hung Kings marked an impressive and brilliant era in the history of Vietnam, establishing it as a sovereign nation. Throughout their 18 generations of rule, they cultivated the nation's core values, fostering a strong sense of community, mutual affection, patriotism, and resilience against oppression.
1.3. Where and when does the Hung King temple festival take place?
- Time: Hung temple festival takes place annually from the 8th to the 11th day of the third lunar month. The highlight of the festival falls on the 10th day of the third lunar month, which has been designated as one of the national Vietnam holidays by the Vietnamese National Assembly to honor the anniversary of Hung King's death.
- Location: The main ceremony is held at the Hung Temple, situated on Nghia Linh Mountain in Hy Cuong Commune, Viet Tri City, Phu Tho Province, approximately 85 kilometers northwest of Hanoi.
To reach the revered Hung Temple and partake in the festivities, there are several means of transportation available for travelers. For those seeking convenience and comfort, the most common way to travel to Phu Tho Province is by car. From Hanoi, visitors can hire a private car or take a taxi, and the journey usually takes around 2 to 3 hours, depending on the traffic conditions.
Alternatively, motorbikes offer a more adventurous option for travel. Many locals and adventurous travelers prefer to ride their motorbikes to Phu Tho Province, enjoying the scenic landscapes and a sense of freedom on the road. However, please ensure to follow traffic rules and regulations for a safe journey. For those who prefer public transportation, there are buses available from Hanoi to Phu Tho Province. The bus journey may take slightly longer, but it is a cost-effective option for budget-conscious travelers.
2. What to explore in Hung King temple festival?
2.1. Religious rituals
Hung temple festival offers a plethora of cultural treasures to explore, with religious rituals standing at the heart of the celebration. Central to the festival are the solemn and elaborate religious ceremonies conducted by Buddhist monks and dignitaries, paying homage to the revered Hung Kings and their contributions to the nation's history. These rituals reflect the deep-rooted spiritual beliefs and reverence for the ancestors, fostering a sense of unity and identity among the attendees.
2.2. Cultural activities
One of the highlights of the cultural activities during the festival are the mesmerizing traditional performances. Colorful and graceful, these performances feature traditional Vietnamese dance, music, and folk songs, conveying tales of the nation's history and legends. The dances, often accompanied by the rhythmic beat of traditional instruments, showcase the elegance and beauty that are characteristic of Vietnam culture.
Additionally, the festival presents an excellent opportunity for visitors to indulge in authentic Vietnamese cuisine. Numerous food stalls and local vendors offer a delectable array of traditional Vietnamese dishes, each reflecting the unique flavors and regional specialties of the country. From savory pho to Chung cake, the variety of traditional Vietnamese food available at the festival tantalizes the taste buds of attendees, making it a delightful culinary adventure.
Throughout the festival grounds, visitors can also explore a diverse array of cultural exhibitions and handicraft displays. Artisans from different regions of Vietnam showcase their craftsmanship, demonstrating traditional skills in pottery, embroidery, and other indigenous crafts.
3. Useful tips to take part in Hung King festival Vietnam
By following these useful tips, you can fully enjoy and appreciate Hung King temple festival while embracing the rich cultural heritage and spiritual significance it represents:
- Dress modestly and respectfully: Wear clothing that covers shoulders and knees, and opt for comfortable attire suitable for walking and standing during the festivities.
- Embrace the Culture: Immerse yourself in the rich Vietnamese culture by participating in traditional activities and ceremonies. Join in on the incense offering and food offerings to experience the spiritual significance of the festival.
- Respect Photography Rules: Some areas of the festival may have restrictions on photography, especially during religious ceremonies.
- Be Mindful of Crowds: This national festival attracts a large number of visitors, so be prepared for crowds, especially during peak hours. Stay patient and polite as you navigate through the festival grounds.
Besides Hung King temple festival, don't miss out on the prominent destinations that showcase the country's diverse beauty and charm. From the bustling capital city of Hanoi, with its rich history and vibrant culture, to the pristine beaches of Phu Quoc and Nha Trang, offering relaxation and water activities, and the enchanting ancient town of Hoi An, known for its well-preserved architecture and local handicrafts. Explore the modern city of Da Nang with its stunning bridges and bustling markets, and embark on a mesmerizing cruise through the iconic Ha Long Bay, adorned with limestone karsts and emerald waters. Each of these remarkable places offers a unique experience, reflecting the rich tapestry of Vietnam's landscapes, traditions, and people, in addition to the captivating celebration of Hung King temple festival.
When in Vietnam, make sure to experience the epitome of luxury and relaxation at Vinpearl's exquisite hotel and resort system. Vinpearl is renowned for its exceptional amenities and top-notch services, ensuring a memorable and indulgent vacation. From pristine beaches and world-class spa facilities to fine dining restaurants and recreational activities, Vinpearl's properties provide a haven of relaxation and sophistication.
After indulging in the lavish resort experience, travelers can further explore the enchanting VinWonders, an entertainment park chain featuring thrilling rides, captivating shows, and family-friendly attractions.
Hung King temple festival is a cherished and time-honored celebration deeply rooted in the history and cultural heritage of Vietnam. From the mesmerizing religious rituals that exude profound spirituality to the vibrant cultural activities that showcase the essence of Vietnam's traditions, the festival offers a mesmerizing tapestry of experiences. As travelers and locals alike partake in this captivating journey, they bear witness to the enduring legacy of Hung Kings temple festival, a living testament to the profound ties between the people, their ancestors, and the nation's treasured past.