|The water procession is one of the key rituals at the Tran Temple festival.
THAI BINH (VNS) — One of the biggest spring festivals of Viet Nam, the Tran Temple festival, opened last night in the northern Thai Binh province.
Thousands of pilgrims flooded the national historical site of Tran Kings' shrines and tombs in Hung Ha District's Tien Duc Commune to pay respect to the ancient kings. The festival takes place on the 18th day of the first lunar month, which falls between February 12 and 17.
This year, the event is of great significance to the local community. On the opening night, the festival received the certificate which recognises its national intangible cultural heritage status in accordance with the culture minister's decision late last month.
Addressing the ceremony, head of the festival's organising board Nguyen Hong Chuyen said, "For the past 800 years, the tombs of the Tran kings and members of royal families are there, a vivid evidence of the nation's history.
|The local senior villagers are chosen to carry water for the water procession. - VNA/VNS Photos The Duyet
"The Tran dynasty [1255-1400] proved to be a prosperous dynasty with glorious feats, not only in fighting against foreign invaders but also in socio-economic development.
"They also left behind typical cultural features for their offspring, particularly giao cha (friendship making) ritual and water parade among others.
"The festival contributes towards conserving these cultural values. That's also the reason the Tran temple festival has been bestowed the status of national heritage."
While Thai Binh is considered to be the birthplace of the Tran kings, Nam Dinh was their first residential area. The same festival is also held at the Tran temple complex in the neighbouring province of Nam Dinh between the 13th and 15th day of the first lunar month.
During the whole day yesterday, the local residents organised a range of opening rituals to celebrate the event. Of note was the water procession held to remind the modern generation about fishing, their ancestors' major source of livelihood. —VNS