Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Three major spring festivals – the Mother Âu Cơ Temple Festival, the Tịnh Điền (Ploughing) Festival and the Viềng Market Festival – began yesterday, as part of the festive season in the north of Việt Nam.
Run by Hạ Hòa District’s People’s Committee in the northern province of Phú Thọ from the seventh to the ninth day of the first lunar month, the Mother Âu Cơ Temple Festival pays tribute to the guardian deity and prays for peace, good weather, prosperity and happiness.
The worship of Mother Âu Cơ at the temple, practised in numerous forms, including worshipping Mother Âu Cơ and her children, was recognised as national intangible cultural heritage in 2017. The temple was built under the reign of King Lê Thánh Tông (15th century) and named a national historical and cultural relic in 1991.
The ploughing festival 2018 in Đọi Sơn Commune in the Red River Delta province of Hà Nam, which highlights the importance of agriculture and the role of farmers, and contributes to preserving and upholding cultural values of the locality, was also celebrated yesterday.
The event included a variety of activities, including dragon dance, drum performances, the enactment of the ritual when the King ploughs the field at the festival, traditional procession and decorating the buffalos with colourful paints. The festival began in 987 during the Lê dynasty when King Lê Đại Hành went to the field to plough in Đọi Sơn Commune, Duy Tiên District to wish for bumper crops. The practice then became an annual tradition held through many dynasties.
Another festival in northern Việt Nam during spring, the Viềng Market Festival, in which the market goers exchanged products, opened last night in Vụ Bản District in Nam Định. All kinds of goods are bought and sold without bargaining. People come to the market not only to buy things, but also to seek for fortunes and wish for a prosperous new year.
The spring market features handicrafts, antiques (both genuine and fake), household utensils, farm tools and many kinds of ornamental plants. Besides visiting the market, shoppers can also visit pagodas and temples nearby to worship Mother Goddesses and pray for prosperity.
Việt Nam has about 8,000 festivals each year. Of which, nearly 90 per cent are traditional festivals, 6 per cent are religious and 4 per cent are historical.— VNS