Lim Festival has profound spiritual significance to the life of the locals in Bac Ninh Province, playing an important role in preserving Vietnamese culture. With two main parts including the rituals and the festival when many recreational activities take place, this spring festival will give you a glimpse into the belief and culture of Vietnamese people.
1. Origin and date of Lim Festival
Held in Tien Du District, Bac Ninh Province, about 20 kilometers away from Hanoi, the Lim Festival takes place every year in 2 or 3 days, starting from the 12th or 13th day of the first lunar month. Over 300 years of existence, Lim Festival has become one of the most famous festivals in Northern Vietnam.
It is said that this festival has its roots in the local festivals for singing and dancing, especially Quan Ho singing. Others say that Lim Festival became the regional festival in the 18th century when Nguyen Dinh Dien, a mandarin who restored many temples, pagodas, and festivals in Bac Ninh, including Lim Festival. It was originally a commune festival held yearly in the eighth lunar month. Over time, Lim Festival went on to be held in the first lunar month.
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2. Overview of the rituals celebrated in Lim Festival
When the Lim Festival begins, Tien Du District comes alive with many cultural activities. Rituals take place on the main festival day (the 13th) when local people dress in colorful traditional garments and parade up Lim Hill to engage in traditional incense offering at Lim Pagoda - the place to worship Nguyen Dinh Dien. Many other impressive rituals take place during Lim Festival such as the rituals at Co Lung Temple, Hong Van Tomb, Do Nguyen Thuy Tomb, ancestral temples, etc.
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3. Highlights of Lim Festival in Bac Ninh
3.1. Quan Ho folk singing
The most exciting part of Lim Festival in Vietnam is Quan Ho singing, which was recognized as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Mankind by UNESCO in 2009. Quan ho singing has been performed in Vietnam since the 12th century on all sorts of stages such as pagoda courtyards, communal houses, hills, and even on boats. All the singers dress in traditional costumes, taking turns singing in pairs of one male and one female or in groups. While performing, the singers will interact with audiences and give them betel and areca to taste.
3.2. Folk games
In addition to Quan Ho singing, Lim Festival enchants tourists with many traditional contests, fairs, and folk games such as human chess, water puppetry, swinging, wrestling, blindman’s buff, lion dances, cock-fighting, and more. Don't miss out on the weaving competition, where you can admire how the locals weave and perform Quan Ho singing at the same time.
4. Other unmissable festivals in Bac Ninh Vietnam
Apart from Lim Festival, Bac Ninh is home to numerous interesting festivals that draw many visitors every year. Some signature festivals include:
- But Thap Pagoda Festival: Held annually in But Thap Pagoda on the 23rd and 24th day of the third lunar month, this festival aims to pay homage to Buddhism and promote the essence of Vietnamese culture.
- Phat Tich Pagoda Festival: Standing out among the vibrant array of festivals in Vietnam, this event combines spiritual reverence with cultural entertainment. The festival lasts for 3 days, from the 3rd to the 5th day of the Lunar New Year.
- Dau Pagoda Festival: Taking place on the 8th day of the fourth lunar month in the oldest pagoda in Vietnam, this cultural event holds great significance as an occasion for farmers to pray for favorable weather.
- Do Temple Festival: As one of the ancient Vietnam festivals, this festival is held from the 14th to the 16th day of the third lunar month to commemorate the merits of King Ly Cong Uan.
- Ba Chua Kho Temple Festival: This festival is held at Ba Chua Kho Temple on the 12th day of the first lunar month to honor Ba Chua Kho. The festival includes an incense offering ceremony and the custom of borrowing money from Ba Chua Kho to pray for good fortune.
In addition to a variety of traditional festivals, Vietnam enchants tourists with breathtaking landscapes, warm hospitality, and detectable cuisine. A journey to Hanoi, Phu Quoc, Nha Trang, Hoi An, or Ha Long - the top tourist destinations in Vietnam will surely not let you down.
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Lim Festival Vietnam has everything you would expect of a traditional festival in Vietnam. It offers a mesmerizing blend of religious rituals, the heritage of Quan Ho singing, folk games, and a lively festive atmosphere. Easily reached from Hanoi, Lim Festival will enrich your trip in Vietnam with memorable experiences.