Tuesday, March 31 2020

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Tây Thiên Mother Goddess worship recognised as national intangible heritage

Update: March, 10/2020 - 09:22

 

Part of the Tây Thiên spiritual tourism complex. VNA/VNS Photo  Hoàng Hùng

HÀ NỘI — The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has recognised the Tây Thiên Mother Goddess worship in the northern province of Vĩnh Phúc as a national intangible heritage.

The province’s Tam Đảo District announced the ministry’s recognition of the belief – one of the three most ancient religious practices in the northern region – at a ceremony held over the weekend.

Based on research and the agreement of the National Heritage Council, the ministry released a list of national intangible cultural heritages, including the three oldest religious practices of Tây Thiên Mother Goddess, Hùng King and Tản Viên Sơn Thánh worships.

The belief in Tây Thiên Mother Goddess worship is not only a local, regional and national religion, but also a cultural symbol of Vĩnh Phúc Province.

It reflects the historical value and patriotic tradition of ethnic groups united in fighting foreign invaders, according to reports from the provincial authorities.

Being proud and happy to welcome the ministry’s recognition, the Party Committees, authorities and the people of Vĩnh Phúc Province have pledged to take more responsibility in preserving and promoting the intangible cultural values of the belief ​​at the national level.

Tam Đảo District People's Committee Chairman Đinh Văn Mười stressed that in order to preserve and promote the social practices and beliefs in worshiping the Tây Thiên Mother Goddess, the district would develop specific plans and continue to focus on introducing and advertising the image of the Tây Thiên Mother Goddess to all visitors, including foreigners.

At the same time, the district committed to coordinate closely and effectively with ministries, departments, agencies and localities in protecting, preserving and promoting social customs and beliefs of the Tây Thiên Mother Goddess, as well as the Tây Thiên historical relic and landscape, according to the official.

Located about 65km north-west of Hà Nội, the Tây Thiên spiritual tourism site in Tam Đảo National Park, is a unique historical-cultural complex among the majestic mountains and forests of Tam Đảo District, Vĩnh Phúc Province.

The site, including the Tây Thiên Pagoda with Buddhist monuments and relics of the Mother Goddess Temples, attracts thousands of visitors every year.

The Tây Thiên Festival is held annually from February 15 to 17 every lunar year to commemorate the Mother of the Nation, Lăng Thị Tiêu – the wife of  Hùng Chiêu Vương, a son of a Hùng King, who helped the King to expand the realms, teach people to plant wet rice, recruit soldiers, and strengthen the dynasty. 

Relics dedicated to her in Đại Đình Town, Tam Đảo District have been recognised as a special national historical relic since December 2015.

Due to fears of the COVID-19 epidemic, the Tây Thiên Spring Festival 2020 took place last weekend with some changes in the programme. The festival did not include cultural activities to avoid large gatherings of people, focusing on ritual ceremonies including one announcing the decision to recognise the Tây Thiên Mother Goddess worship as an intangible cultural heritage. — VNS

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