|Light entertainment: Local people in a procession at the annual Lac Long Quan Temple Festival. This year, light shows will be staged for the first time together with contemporary music and calligraphy at the event. — VNA/VNS Photo Anh Tuan
HA NOI (VNS)— Alongside music and calligraphy, a light show will be staged this week at Binh Da Temple Festival in Thanh Oai District, west of central Ha Noi.
Legend says the nation's great father Lac Long Quan passed away in Ba Go (also called Tam Thai Hill). To mark the event, an annual festival is held between the third and sixth days of the third lunar month, which falls on April 3-6 this year.
"We are trying to upgrade the local traditional festival in an attempt to get State recognition of the temple as a national historic site," said Phan Long, a local official. "This year, local authorities co-operated with the Viet Nam Institute of Culture and Arts Studies to organise a light show at the temple."
This is the first time modern contemporary light shows have been organised at a historic site, said researcher Bui Quang Thang from the institute.
"The light show will consist of three chapters," he said. "The first chapter will tell the story of ancient temples in other cultures like the Greeks, Egyptians and Mayans. The second chapter will tell the legend of Lac Long Quan, who was said to be a dragon born in water.
"The third chapter will describe the history of today's Lac Long Quan Temple, which was first built in bamboo and soil, then upgraded in wood and stone as you can see it today."
Musician Tri Minh's band will provide the soundtrack and calligraphy artist Le Quoc Viet and his colleagues will draw a large calligraphic painting to display alongside it.
"I want to create a contemporary event at a traditional festival," Thang said. "Otherwise, all traditional festivals will be exactly the same."
In addition to light shows, music and calligraphy, the festival will include traditional processions and worship customs.
Lac Long Quan (literally "Dragon Lord of Lac") is considered the second Hung king of the Hong Bang Dynasty of ancient Viet Nam (known then as Van Lang and before that as Xich Quy). Lac Long Quan was the son and sole successor of Kinh Duong Vuong (the first Hung king), who ruled over Xich Quy. He is thought to have become king in 2793 BC and figures prominently in many legends. In one, his wife, Au Co, gave birth to a sac containing 100 eggs from which 100 children were born; this is the origin of the 100 Vietnamese family names, or so the story goes. — VNS