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“Hùng” Kings Commemoration Day

The Hùng Kings Commemoration Day is held annually from the 8th to the 11th day of the 3rd lunar month. In Viet Nam culture and Da Nang culture, it is to honor the Hùng Kings who are considered the Founders of Vietnam and shaped the destiny of the country. In Vietnamese, this celebration is called Giỗ Tổ Hùng Vương or Lễ Hội Đền Hùng.

When celebrated, the Hùng Kings Commemoration Day also puts into action basic Vietnamese values such as ancestor worship, filial piety and patriotism in addition to honoring the founders.

HISTORY

The very first Hung King ruled from the Red River Valley of Southeast Asia when the Bronze Age started. Since this was a long long time ago, it was celebrated in many different ways through the ages, depending on who rules Vietnam. But in 2007, it officially became a public holiday. The Vietnamese people love this because they have no work during this period. They could enjoy some quality time with their family and friends as they commemorate a very special occasion for the Vietnamese nation.

ANCIENT VIETNAM

The Hùng Kings thrived during the Hong Bang Dynasty. It was started by the leader that time named Kinh Durong Vurong. After him, in succession, there were 17 other Hùng Kings. They stabilized the feudal system of the Red River Valley. This made Vietnam a State that was organized but loosely connected. And it was enjoying a large degree of sovereignty during this Dynasty.

Much of Vietnam was linked together because of the efforts of the series of Hùng Kings. But rather than function as a nation state, it was more of a confederacy. This was also a period when Vietnam strengthened its ties with China, resulting into its sovereignty being maintained. The strong ties with China made Vietnamese culture very similar to Sino culture, compared to all other Southeast Asian cultures. Actually, the Bronze Age was a golden period for Vietnam art and culture because plenty of advanced Asian art were produced in Vietnam during this period.

HOW HÙNG KINGS COMMEMORATION DAY IS ENJOYED TODAY

There are many activities which are enjoyed by the Vietnamese people to celebrate this special day. The most important event happens at Nghia Linh Mountain which is near Viet Tri City. It is in this location where the first Hung King, Kinh Dương Vương, established Vietnam.

In honor of the Hùng Kings and also other important ancestors, a mass of Vietnamese people carry a series of offerings starting from the foothills of the Nghia Linh Mountain to the High Temple which is located at the summit. Outside of the High Temple, other people also provide more incense and food.

The Hùng Kings Commemoration Day is similar to other Southeast Asian and Eastern Asian celebrations in the way they are being enjoyed. They are all very colorful. In this occasion, the participants wear brightly hued costumes and other traditional Vietnamese dresses and accessories to repel misfortune and evil spirits.

During the profession, colorful flags and banners are also displayed and traditional Vietnamese music is played on the route going towards the High Temple. In this way, the young people of the country are exposed to the traditions of their ancestors so that they can also pass on the culture to their own children.

What’s more, during the Hùng Kings Commemoration Day, Live Music Performances abound. The Vietnamese reconnect with their cultural roots and traditions. They enjoy renditions of songs and dances done in the ancient ways of the ancestors.

There are also games and crafts that are being shared for the enjoyment of the people. One of the more popular ones is chess wherein folks challenge their strategies and wits all in the spirit of having fun together. In the farm locations, the people also enjoy chicken kicking.

It is not only the founders and the ancestors who are being remembered. This day also reinforces the identity of the Vietnamese people as a distinct culture who are proud of their roots and who should unite and reconcile with their fellow countrymen.

ENJOY VIETNAM

Vietnam is a country with many unique traditions and cultures. While in Vietnam, also do try authentic Vietnamese cuisine while you are enjoying the sights and the local celebrations.

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