Nation remembers Hung Kings

Published: 05/04/2010 05:00



A national-level commemoration of the first rulers of Viet Nam – the Hung kings – will be organised during ten days this month in the northern province of Phu Tho . . .

Past masters: Thousands flock to the Hung Temple every year for the festival.

People’s Artist Le Hung, director of Ha Noi’s Tuoi Tre Theatre, will act as the general director of the ceremony. The ceremony will be broadcast live on Viet Nam television’s VTV1 channel.

Around 1,000 artists will perform at the show including artists from theatres throughout the country, the Viet Nam Circus Federation and the Viet Nam Dance School.

On April 23, President Nguyen Minh Triet and other central and local leaders will join a worshipping ceremony at the site.

There will be various cultural activities like photography and book exhibitions, a swimming competition on the Lo River and other sports tournaments, firework show, and a banh chung (glutinous-rice square cake) and banh day (glutinous-rice round cake) making competition.

The Hung Vuong Museum, which has been built over15,000sq.m, will also be inaugurated at the event with an exhibition of objects dating back to the era of the Hung kings (approximately between 2897BC and 1550BC), the Ly dynasty (1009-1225) and the Tran dynasty (1225-1400) while the Culture and Sports Festival of north-eastern ethnic groups will be held in the locality.

According to Nguyen Doan Khanh, chairman of Phu Tho Province’s People’s Committee, the local authorities have made preparations for a great festival.

Following the Hung Temple’s recognition as a special national historic site at the end of last year, work on upgrading the site to serve the event this year was undertaken, he said.

The province has also spared VND30 billion (US$1,608,000) for organising the festival this year.

He also estimated around 500,000 people would visit the temple site per day during the festival. The same event last year attracted 4 million people in total.

“I believe that Phu Tho will soon catch up with other neighbouring provinces through tourism to the Hung kings cultural site, Xuan Son forest and the Thanh Thuy ecological site,” he added, “All of these sites have seen investment and are potentially attractive tourism sites.”

A dossier had been sent to UNESCO for its recognition of local hat xoan (ancestors’ worshipping songs) as a cultural intangible heritage.

Hat xoan is believed to have originated 500 years ago. It is popular in the villages of An Thai, Phu Duc, Kim Doi and Thet along the Lo River in Phu Tho. It is also popular in other localities in the midlands and northern regions.

Hat xoan has some similarities with the lullaby. Like quan ho (love duet singing), many of the songs in hat xoan are about love, but it originally were a form of worshipping, offering praise to village genies.

According to legend, the Vietnamese nation, named Van Lang, was founded by Emperor Hung Vuong about 40 centuries ago. The 18-king dynasty led Viet Nam to development and progress in peace.

To honour the founding fathers, the Hung Vuong holy site was built in 250BC in Phu Tho, and has since become one of the most popular sites in the country. The annual Hung kings anniversary is held on the 10th day of the third lunar month. This cultural practice has only been neglected during periods of foreign domination and wars.

The Hung kings also promoted diplomatic ties with ancient China in an effort to better ensure the independence of Van Lang.

The Hung kings’ outstanding achievements resulted not only in the founding of Viet Nam of yore as a nation but also in the establishment of well-defined institutions, administrative, social and economic which made up a civilisation of the Vietnamese people.

Many people believe that the origin of Hung kings largely remains the product of Vietnamese legend. However, vestiges of the Hong Bang Dynasty such as the Hung kings’ Temple in Phu Tho, the agricultural implements made of stone discovered in northern localities of Son Tay, Vinh Yen, Bac Giang and what was recorded in the Chinese Annals of the Bach Viet (100 principality) kingdom, South China are evidence to the fact that the Vietnamese of the prehistoric age did inaugurate a monarchical dynasty which started from the rule of the 18 Hung kings.

VietNamNet/Viet Nam News

Provide by Vietnam Travel

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