HÀ NỘI -- A traditional festival is held from April 25 to 27 in Láng Pagoda and the surrounding area in Đống Đa District of Hà Nội. For the first time in 70 years, the Láng Pagoda Festival will restore all the folk rituals that have made it a unique event.
Láng Pagoda is an ancient pagoda built in the 11th Century. It has always been a famous pagoda in Hà Nội for its wide space, various antiques and Buddhist statues.
Láng Pagoda Festival is a traditional Spring Festival of people living in the Tô Lịch River region held in the third month of the lunar calendar. In 2019, it was certified a National Intangible Cultural Heritage by Việt Nam’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
|People take part in the festival. Photo from Facebook of Khanh Nguyen|
The festival honours and illustrates great milestones in the life of a Zen master named Từ Đạo Hạnh (1072-1116) – father of the traditional water puppet art. He was also known as Lý Thần Tông (1116 - 1138) - the fifth king of the Lý Dynasty.
For a long time, not all of the rituals were carried out. However, this year, the organising committee has determined to bring back all traditional rituals of the festival which have not been demonstrated for about 70 years such as “Tế lễ” (offering), “Độ Hà” (carrying palanquin through the river) and “Đấu Thần” (fighting between gods). Every ritual has a unique meaning based on myths about Từ Đạo Hạnh.
Various activities occur during the three days of the festival. The first day is for authorities and octogenarians of the area to open the festival through the “Cáo Yết” Ceremony (informing the god).
The second day is for the aforementioned important rituals before entertainment and folk games on the last day.
The Hà Nội Government has banned vehicles on the roads in some areas of Đống Đa and Cầu Giấy districts in order to serve the festival. VNS