April, 10 2014 08:45:00

Nation commemorates Hung Kings

Winners of a cake contest offer their wares to the Hung Kings. – VNA/VNS Photo Trong Duc

HA NOI (VNS)— Millions of Vietnamese attended ceremonies across the country on the 10th of the third lunar month (April 9) to pay tribute to the Hung Kings.

The Hung Kings, who founded Van Lang, the first State in Viet Nam's history, were honoured at a headline ceremony event held at the national relic site of the Hung Kings Temple in the northern province of Phu Tho.

Dignitaries in attendance included Le Hong Anh, Politburo member and permanent member of the Party Central Committee Secretariat; Nguyen Thien Nhan, Politburo member and President of the Viet Nam Fatherland Front's Central Committee, and many central and local officials.

A delegation of overseas Vietnamese and residents from around the country also came to pay their respects.

An estimated 5 million visitors have flocked to the Hung Kings Temple to honour the nation's founders since the beginning of the Hung Kings Temple Festival, which is held annually.

In Ho Chi Minh City, the municipal Party Committee, People's Council, People's Committee and Viet Nam Fatherland Front jointly organised a ceremony in commemoration of the Hung Kings.

Addressing the event, Pham Van Hai, Vice Chairman of the municipal committee of the Vietnam Fatherland Front, highlighted the importance of the Van Lang era under the reign of the 18 Hung Kings, when the nation's cultural foundation was laid and the heroic tradition of national defence began.

An incense ceremony in the northern province of Phu Tho. — VNA/VNS Photo Quy Trung

According to Vietnamese folklore, Lac Long Quan, son of Kinh Duong Vuong married Au Co, daughter of King De Lai. Au Co then gave birth to a sac containing 100 eggs from which 100 children were born. The couple then decided to separate in order to populate the land and propagate the race. According to the legend, half the children followed their mother to the highlands and the remaining half went with their father to the sea.

The first child went with his mother to Phong Chau, now Phu Tho Province. He then became King Hung and founded the first nation in the history of Viet Nam, called Van Lang. Ruling the country through 18 dynasties, Hung Kings taught people how to grow wet rice.

They chose Nghia Linh Mountain, the highest in the region, to perform rituals devoted to rice and sun deities to pray for lush crops.

To honour the Hung Kings' service to the people, a web of temples dedicated to the Kings was built on Nghia Linh Mountain. The tenth day of the third lunar month is now designated as the annual national commemorative anniversary.

The worshipping rituals of the Hung Kings are closely related to the ancestor worshipping tradition of most Vietnamese families, which forms an important part of daily life. It was recognised as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2012. — VNS

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