Viet Nam News
HÀ NAM — Visitors to Đọi Sơn Commune in northern Hà Nam Province this weekend will have the chance to enjoy the Long Đọi Sơn Pagoda Festival that recently commenced in the area.
The festival pays tribute to those who had made significant contributions to the country, such as Buddhist monk Thích Chiếu Thường, General Lý Thường Kiệt and Emperor Lý Nhân Tông.
The festival, a unique cultural event of the commune in particular and the province in general, includes a variety of activities. The highlight is a palanquin procession from the foot of Long Đọi Mountain to Long Đọi Sơn Pagoda as well as ceremonies to express gratitude to ancestors.
Other activities include contests of rice cooking, cloth weaving, boat rowing, traditional singing and dancing, in addition to traditional sports such as wrestling and human chess.
The festival is expected to attract many visitors and pilgrims to the region. It will conclude this Sunday (May 6).
As a major landmark of the province with significant cultural, historical and architectural values, Long Đọi Sơn or Đọi Sơn Pagoda was recognised as a special national relic by Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc in December last year. A ceremony to grant the title certificate was organised on Thursday by the People’s Committee of Hà Nam Province.
The pagoda was built on top of Long Đọi Mountain in 1054 under the reign of King Lý Thánh Tông, covering a total area of two hectares. It was expanded between 1118 and 1121 during the rule of King Lý Nhân Tông, along with the construction of Sùng Thiện Diệu Linh Tower.
In the early 15th century, both Đọi Sơn Pagoda and Sùng Thiện Diệu Linh tower were completely destroyed when the Ming aggressors invaded the country. Later, under the Lê, Mạc and Nguyễn dynasties, the pagoda was rebuilt and its architecture was gradually restored.
Speaking at the ceremony, Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Đặng Thị Bích Liên asked Hà Nam Province authorities to work out an overall planning scheme for the long-term preservation of the relic site.
The relic site management board should install landmarks surrounding the pagoda, promote the dissemination of knowledge about its historical, cultural, scientific and artistic values, prepare plans for restoration and upgrading as well as maintain traditional festive rituals, she said.
Liên also suggested the provincial authorities to uphold the values of local festivals in a bid to further promote tourism in the province. — VNS