Sacred land of Hung Kings

(VOVWORLD) - Hung Kings worship and Temple Festival this year is themed “Sacred root, Hung Kings land”, and will take place from April 6-10 in Phu Tho province. The worship of Hung Kings and Hung Kings’ Temple Festival is one of the major celebrations of Vietnam. The belief of worshiping Hung Kings reflects the cultural identity of national unity, compassion, and mutual support of all ethnic groups in Vietnam.
Sacred land of Hung Kings - ảnh 1A procession brings offering to the Hung Kings Temple. (photo: Thong Nhat/VNA)

Every year on the 10th day of the 3rd lunar month, all Vietnamese people, whether they are at home or abroad, turn towards the Kinh Thien Palace on the summit of Nghia Linh mountain in Phu Tho province. They commemorate the merits of the Hung Kings, who are believed to be the first founders of Vietnam.

A pilgrim said: “Whoever goes back and forth, remember the ancestor's death anniversary on March 10th. It's been many years now, my family always visits Hung Kings’ Temple to offer incenses in memory of the Hung Kings.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many families did not visit the Hung Kings’ Temple in Phu Tho province for the last 2 years. They prepared offerings to commemorate the Hung Kings at home to remind their children of the nation's roots.

A Vietnamese proverb says that people have ancestors, like trees have roots and rivers have sources. We always remind our children of our tradition, ancestors, and the Hung Kings’ merits to build the nation.

Sacred land of Hung Kings - ảnh 2Nguyen Dac Thuy, Director of Phu Tho provincial Department of Culture, Sports, and Tourism (photo: VOV)

This year, the festival will mark 10 years since UNESCO recognised the worshiping rituals of the Hung Kings in Phu Tho as part of the world's intangible cultural heritage.

The worship has promoted its influence and values nationwide, illustrating a vitality of a sacred belief.

Nguyen Dac Thuy, Director of Phu Tho provincial Department of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, said: “The worship of Hung Kings has generated a huge spiritual encouragement for the community to preserve and promote it as a source of great national unity. The Hung Kings’ Temple Festival has also contributed to tourism and economic development.”

Phu Tho province has carried out an action program to protect and promote values of the Hung Kings worship belief, an intangible cultural heritage of humanity. Hung Kings’ Temples in many places nationwide have been upgraded. The state has designated the Hung Kings’ national historical site in Phu Tho for annual national worship.

Any ethnic group in the world has its roots, but for the Vietnamese people, they worship the same ancestor – Hung Kings. It can be said that there are few places where there is this kind of unique form of ancestor worship. It has become a social phenomenon bearing Vietnam's own identity, contributing to the formation of Vietnam's spiritual and cultural value system.

Because of these unique and special values, the worship of Hung Kings in Phu Tho province was officially recognized by UNESCO as a representative intangible cultural heritage of humanity in 2012.

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