Vietnam: Death anniversary of the Hung Kings

Death anniversary of the Hung Kings (Vietnamese: Giỗ Tổ Hùng Vương) is the Vietnamese festival to worship Hung Kings. Since 2007, it has been a public holiday in Vietnam celebrated on the tenth day of the third lunar month.

Generation have gone by, the folk lore song still remains:
" Whether up or down you go
Remember our Ancestor's Death Anniversary on 10th of March "

Time: The 8th to the 11th day of the third lunar month, main festival day on the 10th day of the third lunar month.
Place: Nghia Linh Mountain, Hy Cuong Commune, Viet Tri City, Phu Tho Province.
Objects of worship: Kings Hung.
Characteristics: This is the ancestors' death anniversary of the whole nation. At the same time with incense-offering ceremony at Hung Temple in Phu Tho Province, sacrifice-offering ceremonies at Hung Temple in Ho Chi Minh City, Nha Trang and other provinces are aslo celebrated.
Main activities:
- The procession of 3 local communes from the communal houses to the foot of the mountain.
- The incense offering ceremony.
- Xoan singing, bronze drum dancing

A sovereign nation
It is said that the first king of the country was Kinh Duong (Vietnamese: Kinh Duong Vuong), who ruled over a vast territory in the south called Xich Quy (Red Devil).
Kinh Duong King married the daughter of Than Long (Sacred Dragon), king of Lake Dongding. The couple had a son, Sung Lam, who later became king and called himself Lac Long Quan (King Dragon of the Land of Lac). The wife of Lac Long Quan, Au Co, gave birth to a sac containing 100 eggs from which 100 babies were born.
One day, Lac Long Quan told his wife "I descend from dragons and you from fairies. We’re as incompatible as water and fire and we cannot continue in harmony." The king parted from his queen, taking to the sea with 50 of his children and his wife moved to the mountains, followed by the rest of the clan.
The eldest son, who was with this mother, established himself at Phong Chau, now the southern part of Phu Tho Province, and made himself king. That was King Hung I whose realm was made up by 50 tribes.
The 18 Hung kings then ruled the country from 2879 to 258BC.
According to historical records, the regime of the Hung Kings was an impressive, brilliant and outstanding start for establishing Viet Nam as a sovereign nation.
The 18 generations of the Hung Kings saw the birth and development of a nation and are credited with forging national characteristics such as the sense of community, mutual affection, patriotism and unwillingness to yield to oppression. From this original settlement, the Hong (Red) River civilisation and the pre-Dong Son cultures grew.
This celebrated date, the 10th day of the third lunar month, is dedicated to commemorating the anniversary of their ancestor’s death, founder of the Vietnamese nation—the first Hung King.
Hung Temple is located on Nghia Linh Mountain range, 100km north-west of Ha Noi in Lam Thao District, Phu Tho Province.

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