Phu Tho (VNA) – For the Hung Kings Temple Festival to take place safely and efficiently this year, authorities of the northern province of Phu Tho has directed relevant units to build detailed plans ensuring conditions to thoroughly implement COVID-19 prevention and control measures.
The Hung Kings are commemorated each year on the 10th day of the third lunar month, which falls on April 21 this year, as an occasion for the nation to express gratitude to the ancestors.
As directed, the Phu Tho Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism will be in charge of completing the overall plan and guiding communications work.
The management board of the Hung Kings Temple relic site in Viet Tri city – the venue of the event – will build the contents for related ritual ceremonies. It will also join the provincial Health Department in disinfecting the site before and during the festival and in conducting communications campaigns to raise public awareness on pandemic prevention.
In addition to ritual ceremonies, a few folk cultural activities, including a bonze drum beating event and banh chung (square, glutinous rice cake) and banh giay (round, glutinous rice cake) making contest, will be held at the upcoming festival due to COVID-19.
Among the traditional rites, incense and flower offering ceremonies are scheduled to take place on April 17 and 21 (the 6th and 10th days of the third lunar month).
Normally including myriad festive activities, the festival was cancelled last year due to the pandemic. It welcomed over 7 million visitors in 2019.
Legend has it that the eldest son of Lac Long Quan (son of Kinh Duong Vuong) and Au Co (the fairy daughter of De Lai) was made king. He named the country Van Lang and set up the capital in Phong Chau (modern-day Viet Tri city), beginning 18 dynasties of the Hung Kings.
The kings chose Nghia Linh Mountain, the highest in the region, to perform rituals devoted to the rice and sun deities to pray for healthy crops.
To honour their substantial contributions, a complex of temples dedicated to the kings was built on Nghia Linh Mountain, and the tenth day of the third lunar month serves as the national commemorative anniversary for the kings.
The worshipping rituals of the Hung Kings was recognised as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2012./.