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    All About Hung Kings Temple Festival

    5/22/2023 2:52:15 AM

    Hung Kings Temple Festival, also known as Hung Vuong Festival, is one of the most significant events in Vietnam's calendar, celebrated annually on the 10th day of the third lunar month. This festival is a tribute to the Hung Kings, the legendary founders of the Vietnamese nation. It is considered one of the most important cultural and historical events in Vietnam and attracts visitors from all over the country and beyond.

    The festival commemorates the Hung Kings, who are believed to have ruled Vietnam from 2879 BCE to 258 BCE. According to legend, the Hung Kings were instrumental in building and defending the nation, and were therefore revered as national heroes. The festival is a time for the Vietnamese people to show their respect and gratitude to their ancestors and to strengthen their national identity.
    Hung Kings Festival
    In this blog, we will take a closer look at the Hung Kings Temple Festival, exploring its history and significance, as well as the various rituals and activities that take place during the festival. We will also discuss the best places to celebrate the festival in Vietnam, as well as the traditional foods and drinks that are commonly consumed during the festivities.
    Whether you are a history buff, a culture enthusiast, or simply looking for a unique and authentic cultural experience, the Hung Kings Temple Festival is not to be missed. Join us as we delve into the fascinating world of this important festival and discover the rich cultural heritage of Vietnam.

    I. The Legend of Hung Kings

    1. Who are the Hung Kings?

    According to the legend, the Hung Kings were the sons of Lac Long Quan, a dragon lord, and Au Co, a fairy from the mountains. They had 18 generations of descendants, who established the first Vietnamese dynasties and built the country from a collection of tribes into a powerful nation. The Hung Kings were known for their wisdom, bravery, and benevolence, and their legacy has been celebrated by the Vietnamese people for over 4,000 years.

    2. How the festival is celebrated in honor of Hung Kings

    To honor the Hung Kings, the Hung Kings Temple Festival is held annually in the Hung Temple complex in Phu Tho province, Vietnam. The festival lasts for several days, with the most important day being the 10th day of the third lunar month, which is the anniversary of the death of the last Hung King. On this day, millions of Vietnamese people from all over the country and abroad make a pilgrimage to the temple complex to pay their respects and offer incense to the Hung Kings.
    Hung Kings's statues
    The festival includes many traditional rituals and performances, such as a dragon dance, a lion dance, and a drum procession. People also participate in a wide range of cultural and sporting activities, including folk games, martial arts demonstrations, and traditional music and dance performances. The highlight of the festival is the palanquin procession, in which a palanquin carrying the spirit of the Hung Kings is carried through the streets by local people dressed in traditional clothing.
    The Hung Kings Temple Festival is not only a time for celebration, but also an occasion for reflection and gratitude. It is a time for Vietnamese people to remember and honor their ancestors, and to renew their commitment to preserving their cultural heritage. The festival is a reminder of the importance of family, community, and tradition in Vietnamese culture, and it serves as a source of inspiration and pride for the Vietnamese people.

    II. The Festival Activities

    1. Preparations for the festival

    Preparations for the Hung Kings Temple Festival usually begin months in advance. As the most significant and solemn festival in Vietnam, it requires careful planning and coordination.
    One of the primary preparations is the cleaning and maintenance of the temple complex, where the festival is held. The area is spruced up, and repairs are made to the temple and other structures. This is done to ensure that the temple is in its best condition to receive visitors and worshipers during the festival.
    Preparation for Hung Kings Festival
    Another essential preparation is the making of traditional offerings, such as banh chung, a sticky rice cake filled with pork and beans, and nem, a type of spring roll. These offerings are placed on the altars in the temple, as a way to pay homage to the Hung Kings and their contributions to Vietnamese history.
    Local authorities also coordinate with security and traffic police to ensure the safety and smooth flow of traffic during the festival. Traffic control measures are put in place to manage the large crowds that gather for the event.
    In addition to these preparations, the festival also involves cultural and artistic performances, such as dragon and lion dances, martial arts demonstrations, and folk songs and dances. Local communities and organizations also participate in the festival, showcasing their unique traditions and cultural practices.

    2. Main activities during the festival

    The Hung King Festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm in Vietnam every year on the 10th day of the third lunar month to honor the nation's legendary founders. This festival is the most significant cultural event in the country, and it is celebrated with traditional activities and ceremonies.

    Procession to the Hung Kings Temple:

    The festival is marked by a solemn procession to the Hung Kings Temple in Phu Tho province, where the Hung Kings are believed to have ascended to heaven. The procession is led by drummers, dancers, and flag bearers who carry offerings to the temple. Thousands of pilgrims from all over the country also join the procession.
    Offering ceremony at Hung Kings Festival

    Incense offering ceremonies:

    The main feature of the festival is the incense offering ceremonies, which take place at the Hung Kings Temple. The ceremonies involve burning incense and offerings of flowers, fruits, and food to pay respect to the Hung Kings. These ceremonies are accompanied by traditional music and dance performances.

    Traditional games and performances:

    The Hung King Festival is also celebrated with traditional games and performances. These activities are held in public places, and both locals and tourists can participate. Some of the popular games include rice cooking competitions, cockfighting, and wrestling. There are also traditional dance and music performances by local artists.

    3. Other notable activities and events

    In addition to the main activities, there are also other notable events and activities during the Hung Kings Temple Festival:
    Cultural exhibitions: Visitors can immerse themselves in Vietnamese culture and history through exhibitions featuring traditional crafts, costumes, and artifacts.
    • Traditional music and dance performances: Various forms of traditional Vietnamese music and dance are showcased during the festival, with performers dressed in colorful costumes.
    • Fireworks display: On the evening of the main festival day, a spectacular fireworks display is held to mark the occasion.
    • Local food and drink: Visitors can sample a variety of local dishes and drinks, including banh chung (sticky rice cake), gio cha (Vietnamese sausage), and ruou can (rice wine drunk from a jar through bamboo straws).
    • Traditional handicrafts: Artisans display and sell their traditional handicrafts at the festival, including items made from bamboo, silk, and pottery.
    • Martial arts demonstrations: Visitors can witness traditional Vietnamese martial arts such as Vovinam, which is a form of self-defense and physical training.
    • Sports competitions: Various sports competitions are held during the festival, including dragon boat racing and tug-of-war.
    • Beauty pageants: Beauty pageants are also held during the festival to showcase the traditional costumes and beauty of Vietnamese women.
    All these events and activities provide visitors with a unique opportunity to experience Vietnamese culture and tradition in a festive atmosphere. The Hung Kings Temple Festival is not just a celebration of the past, but a living, breathing testament to the enduring spirit of the Vietnamese people.

    III. Where to Celebrate the Festival

    1. Locations of Hung Kings Temple

    The Hung Kings Temple is located in Phu Tho province, about 85 kilometers from Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam. There are several Hung Kings Temples throughout Vietnam, but the one in Phu Tho province is the most important and sacred. The temple is situated on Nghia Linh Mountain, overlooking a scenic valley. It is surrounded by lush greenery and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside.

    2. Best places to celebrate the festival

    The best place to celebrate the Hung Kings Temple Festival is, of course, at the Hung Kings Temple in Phu Tho province. However, if you are not able to make it to the temple, there are still plenty of other places in Vietnam where you can celebrate the festival. Many cities and towns throughout Vietnam hold their own celebrations, with processions, traditional games, and other cultural activities. Some of the best places to celebrate the festival include:
    Hung Kings Festical in Phu Tho


    The capital city of Vietnam is a great place to experience the festival. The city hosts a number of events and activities, including traditional games, dragon dances, and other cultural performances.

    Ho Chi Minh City

    Vietnam's largest city is also a great place to celebrate the festival. The city's Chinatown district, known as Cho Lon, is particularly lively during the festival, with processions, dragon dances, and other traditional activities.


    The ancient city of Hue is another great place to experience the festival. The city's Imperial Citadel hosts a number of cultural activities, including traditional music and dance performances.

    3. Tips for attending the festival

    If you are planning to attend the Hung Kings Temple Festival, there are a few things you should keep in mind:
    • Dress appropriately: The festival is a solemn occasion, so it is important to dress appropriately. Women should wear modest clothing that covers their shoulders and knees, while men should wear long pants and shirts.
    • Be respectful: The Hung Kings Temple is a sacred place, so it is important to be respectful while you are there. Keep your voice down and be mindful of your surroundings.
    • Arrive early: The festival attracts large crowds, so it is a good idea to arrive early to avoid the crowds. The temple opens at 6 am, so if you want to participate in the incense offering ceremony, be sure to arrive early.
    • Stay hydrated: The festival takes place in April, which is typically a hot and humid month in Vietnam. Be sure to bring plenty of water with you to stay hydrated throughout the day.
    • Follow the rules: There are a number of rules and regulations that must be followed while you are at the Hung Kings Temple.

    Be sure to follow these rules to ensure that the festival runs smoothly and everyone can enjoy it.

    IV. Final Words

    The Hung Kings Temple Festival is a significant event in Vietnamese culture and history, honoring the founding fathers of the nation. The festival showcases the country's rich traditions and customs, offering a unique opportunity for visitors to experience the country's cultural heritage.
    Throughout the festival, attendees can take part in various activities, including incense offerings, traditional games and performances, and a procession to the Hung Kings Temple. There are also many other events and activities that take place during the festival, including art exhibitions, music performances, and more. 
    Attending the Hung Kings Temple Festival is an excellent way to immerse oneself in Vietnamese culture and tradition. The festival offers a unique opportunity to witness the country's history and customs firsthand, making it an unforgettable experience for all who attend. If you are interested in Vietnamese culture and history, you can read more at VietnamStay's blogs here.
    If you are planning to visit Vietnam, let VietnamStay help you plan a trip filled with the most memorable experiences by simply sending us your request here.
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