The Hung Kings Anniversary - Hung Temple Festival is set to take place from April 13 to 19, 2013 (or from the 4th day to 10th day of the third lunar month). Vietnam Business Forum interviewed Mr Ha Ke San, Vice Chairman of Phu Tho Provincial People’s Committee and Head of Organisation Board, on activities of Hung Kings Anniversary - Hung Temple Festival 2013. Thu Huyen reports.
Many celebratory events will be carried out during this duration, including many in the National Tourism Development Program. This year’s festival is another stepping stone for Viet Tri City to become a city of festivals which brings Vietnamese peoples to the roots. The anniversary and festival this year will be started with a ritual to receive the title “World Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity” bestowed on Hung King Worship. Another major activity will be street festival. Notably, this year, eight provinces from three parts of the counties are invited to organise the event while all provinces and cities will have representative invited to the procession, said Mr Ha Ke San.
Hung Kings Anniversary - Hung Temple Festival 2013 takes place when Phu Tho province has two world cultural heritages recognised by UNESCO. So, how will Phu Tho province introduce these heritages to the public this year?
First of all, Xoan singing - a valuable intangible cultural heritage of the ancestral land of Phu Tho - has been recognised for more than one year. The province has exerted its efforts on preserving the heritage and honour 33 Xoan-singing artists. The folk art will be taught in schools and performed in public events in the province.
As for Hung King worshipping belief, to help Vietnamese people and the world understand more about the ancestral worshipping practice in Vietnam, the province gradually standardises worshipping ritual. The procession will be also standardised in other places worshipping Hung Kings and Hung Kings-era figures. The province will invest more for the most sacred worshipping place of the nation.
How has Phu Tho province performed its responsibility in preserving its heritages, particularly Hung King worshipping belief?
Phu Tho always defines that it is on behalf of the people throughout the country to look after the ancestral shrine. Thus, the province defines that, through the ancestral anniversary and together with eight provinces that Phu Tho invites to organise the anniversary, Phu Tho has the responsibility to organise the formal sacred and impressive rite to pay tribute to the ancestors of the nation. This event is also a chance to strengthen national unity, provide more information about Hung Temple Festival, Hung King worshipping belief and Phu Tho province.
You have mentioned that Phu Tho province will try to create a model Hung Kings worshipping ceremony. Does the province base on the tradition and consider modifications to match the new modern life?
Worshipping ceremonies have been standardised by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. The ministry also informs the standardisation and the schedule to provinces taking part in the worshipping ceremonial. However, because many places nationwide also worship, a publicly known standard should be made. However, many problems need to be resolved to reach the norm like the scale, the time, duration and performance.
What do you think about the harmony of State roles and public participation during Hung Kings Anniversary - Hung Temple Festival?
Everybody cares about this. The festival starts from the people and exist with them. But in modern life, with the size and number of attendants, without the support and guarantee of the State, the festival will be difficult to be successful. The State will create the best conditions for the people at the festival. The people are free to join street festivals but the State will stand for the people to perform ancestral worshipping on the main day (10th of the third lunar month).
The ceremony in honour of Hung Kings worshipping belief and reception of the Certificate for Recognition of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity concurs with the opening of Hung Temple Festival on the eve of April 13 (or the fourth day of the third lunar month). The ceremony is followed by a three-chapter art performance: Chapter 1: Dragon - Fairy offspring - Sacredness of common root; Chapter 2: Journey to the root of the nation in tribute to national ancestors, Hung Kings; and Chapter 3: Phu Tho -spiritual and miraculous spring of the nation.” Many folk and modern performances will be displayed during the seven-day festival.
Ha Ke San