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Worship of Hung Kings ‘source of strength for all Vietnamese'

Update: April, 15/2013 - 08:49
The worshipping rituals of the Hung King was performed at the ceremony in the northern province of Phu Tho. The worship will help Vietnamese generations to overcome difficulties and challenges. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Tung

HA NOI (VNS)— The worship of the Hung Kings, the founders of the Vietnamese nation, generates a source of strength for their offspring to overcome any difficulties and challenges in nation-building, President Truong Tan Sang said at a ceremony in the northern province of Phu Tho on Saturday.

According to Vietnamese legend, the 18 Hung King dynasties ruled during the first period of Vietnamese history, from 2879-258 BC.

The worshipping rituals are closely related to the ancestor worshipping tradition of most Vietnamese families, which forms an important part of people's spiritual lives.

The ceremony, which coincided with the opening of the Hung Kings Temple Festival, marked the ritual's recent recognition as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Party, government and provincial officials attended the event along with representatives of UNESCO's Secretariat and 25 countries in the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee on implementing the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Addressing the event, President Sang spoke highly of the great contributions the people of Phu Tho had made to preserve the ritual.

The practice of worshipping the Hung Kings also reminded the Vietnamese to protect one another in all circumstances, he said. As such, it was not only a ritual, but also a valuable illustration of the people's cultural identity and an indication of the gratitude people felt to the founders of the nation.

After the certificate was presented, Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Hoang Tuan Anh called for relevant ministries and agencies to join together to make people aware of the importance of preserving and promoting the worshipping ritual and associated places.

Phu Tho Province alone has 181 sites dedicated to worshipping the Hung Kings, the kings' relatives and their commanders. There are 1,471 such sites nationwide.

Also on Saturday, more than 3,000 artists and artisans took part in a street festival highlighting ancestral folklore in northern Phu Tho Province.

The artists came from 13 districts and towns in the province, the Central Ethnic Minority Pre-University School and Phu Tho Ethnic Minority Boarding School. Thousands of locals flocked to watch performances of xoan singing –another world intangible heritage – as well as du drum dancing, gong performances from the Muong ethnic group and the distinctive folk songs of the Cao Lan people.

An incense offering to the Hung Kings was held at Kinh Thien palace in the Hung Kings temple complex yesterday. — VNS

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