|National treasure: Among the highlights of the Hoa Lư festival is a water-carrying procession from the Hoàng Long River to the King Đinh temple in the early morning of April 5.—VNA/VNS Photo Minh Đức|Viet Nam News
NINH BÌNH — Thousands of Vietnamese citizens took part in the Hoa Lư Festival at the national cultural heritage site in the northern province of Ninh Bình, with ceremonies beginning Wednesday, the 9th day of the third lunar month.
Festival highlights include a water-carrying procession from the Hoàng Long River to the King Đinh temple in the early morning. This centuries-old tradition asks for clement weather, bumper crops, and peaceful life for the people.The established annual ritual aims to remember the services of Đinh Bộ Lĩnh (924-979), the first Vietnamese emperor following the liberation of the country from the rule of the Chinese Southern Han Dynasty. A founder of the Đinh Dynasty, he was a significant figure in the establishment of Vietnamese independence and political unity in the 10th century.
“This year, the festival celebrates 1049 years since Đinh Bộ Lĩnh became Emperor and named the country Đại Cồ Việt,” said Đinh Văn Điến, chairman of the People’s Committee of Ninh Bình Province, at the opening ceremony. “The festival contributes to preserving and upholding the country’s traditional cultural values, and it promotes the locality’s tourism potential and strengths as well,” he adds.
During the three-day festival, there will be many other cultural and sport activities, including a requiem, a gate-opening ceremony, folk games and displays of coloured lanterns and flower garlands.
In 968, Đinh Bộ Lĩnh defeated the twelve lords and unified the country. He declared himself King and named the country Đại Cồ Việt. This name remained throughout the Đinh Dynasty (968-980), Early Lê Dynasty (980-1009) and the beginning of Lý Dynasty (1010-1225).
In the late 10th century, Hoa Lư in Ninh Bình was capital as well as the economic, political and cultural centre of Đại Cồ Việt, and then the Early Lê Dynasty (980-1009).
The festival runs until Friday (April 7). — VNS