|Ancient: Đặng Thị Nhiễu (centre), keeper of the Forest Temple, Ngọc Thụy Ward, Long Biên District, Hà Nội, in a hầu đồng dance. — VNS Photo Việt Thanh|Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Đặng Thị Nhiễu, keeper of the Forest Temple in Ngọc Thụy Ward, Long Biên District, Hà Nội, performs a hầu đồng ritual, one of the features of Mother Goddess worship yesterday.
The performance started a festival featuring the cult of Mother Goddesses which will run until November 13 at the Forest Temple with performances by 29 mediums. The festival has been organised by the Thăng Long Cultural Heritage Association.
Each day, seven mediums will perform with cung văn (singers of spiritual rites) and to the accompaniment of traditional musical instrumentalists. They will present trance performances to pay tribute to 50 genies worshipped as part of the Mother Goddess beliefs.
Lưu Minh Trị, chairman of the association, said the festival helped promote the cultural value of Mother Goddess worship and preserved the traditional elements of hầu đồng practice.
The Mother Goddess cult predates Buddhist and even Taosit beliefs and is believed to be one of the ancestral religions of the Vietnamese people. Guests are always welcomed. — VNS