Important ritual at Tran Temple Festival in Nam Dinh

(VOVWORLD) - The ritual of opening the royal seal is an important ceremony held at the Tran Temple Festival in Nam Dinh province on the night of the 14th day of the 1st lunar month. The seal-opening ceremony dates from a time when the King worshiped the Heaven God and the royal court opened the national seal to return to normal work after a Lunar New Year Holiday.
Important ritual at Tran Temple Festival in Nam Dinh - ảnh 1The royal seal is stamped on pieces of yellow papers for participants.

The Tran Temple in Nam Dinh province is dedicated to the Tran Kings and mandarins of the Tran dynasty. The seal-opening ceremony was first held by the Tran dynasty in 1239 to worship heaven, earth and the ancestors. At Thien Truong palace, King Tran Nhan Tong organized a 3-day feast for his troops after defeating Mongol invaders.

Historical documents say that after the Lunar New Year holiday, the Tran Kings opened the royal seal to signal a return to normal work on the 15th day of the first lunar month. The wooden seal is worshiped in the Tran Temple now was made in the late 19th century.

At midnight on the 14th day of the first lunar month, a senior man representing the  village conducts the ceremony at Cố Trạch Temple, Tuc Mac village. A procession then carries the seal to Thien Truong Temple, where a prestigious man stamps the seal on pieces of yellow paper which the attendees can bring home as a token of luck and happiness for the New Year. The seal-opening ceremony has been repeated for many years in Tuc Mac village.

Pham Thi Oanh, Vice Chairwoman of Nam Dinh city’s People’s Committee and head of the festival’s organizing board, said: “The Tran seal-opening ceremony was a success. We ensured security and traffic safety for the attendees. People were orderly throughout the event without pushing others to take the offerings.”

The ritual was followed by a festival with weightlifting, dragon and tiger dances, and chess competition. Rituals at the Tran Temple and relic site honor a triumphant period in Vietnam’s history and encourage a spirit of patriotism.