Viet Nam News
PHÚ THỌ — A traditional boat race was organised early morning on April 24, which added to the bustling atmosphere of the ongoing Hùng Kings Temple Festival in northern Phú Thọ province.
Hundreds of local people and tourists gathered on the banks of Lô River to cheer up nearly 200 athletes from six teams, namely Bạch Hạc 1, Bạch Hạc 2, Dữu Lâu, Phượng Lâu, Trưng Vương and Sông Lô.
Bạch Hạc 1 won the race, while Bạch Hạc 2 and Sông Lô secured the second and third positions, respectively.
Traditional boat race is a custom reflecting the artful practice of navy troops under the rule of the Hùng kings.
According to historical documents, during the Trần Dynasty (1225-1400), Trần Nhật Duật (1255-1330), who was the sixth son of King Trần Thái Tông and younger brother of Trần Thánh Tông, was assigned to train navy forces in Bạch Hạc River.
Thirty years later, with his strong defence system in Tam Giang-Bạch Hạc, Duật led his navy troops to historic victories over foreign invaders, including a three-time victory against Yuan Mongol invaders.
A traditional boat race has been held every year since then to remind the Vietnamese people of their heroes.
Nguyễn Thu Hiền, head of Việt Trì City’s Deparment of Culture and Information, said the purpose of continuing the race in the present time was to preserve the traditional sport and promote a sense of patriotism.
“Besides being a key part of Hùng Kings Temple Festival, the race will also be proposed to be recognised as the national intangible cultural heritage,” she said.
On the same day, at the Hùng Kings Temple Relic Site, the festival organisers presented offerings to ancestors sent from Hà Nội and Thái Nguyên cities and Phú Thọ province.
At 8pm on April 24, the Hùng Vương Cup Volleyball Tournament will be kicked off at Việt Trì City Gymnasium.
The festival will conclude on April 25 and is expected to receive eight million visitors in four days. — VNS