Ninh Binh (Ninh Bình) is a place many traditional festivals are held. The most important festival you should discover when traveling to Ninh Binh is Hoa Lu Ancient Capital Festival (Lễ hội Hoa Lư). The Hoa Lu Festival is also known as Co Lau (Cờ Lâu) or Truong Yen Festival (Lễ hội Trường Yên) that takes place annually on March 6th, 7th, and 8th of the lunar calendar in Truong Yen (Trường Yên) Commune, Hoa Lu (Hoa Lư) District. It is the largest festival in Ninh Binh that has been recognized as a unique traditional festival of Vietnam in 2015. This festival is held to commemorate the national hero – Le Dai Hanh (Lê Đại Hành) and the King – Dinh Tien Hoang (Đinh Tiên Hoàng) who had the merits of building and protecting the country. Joining the Hoa Lu Festival, you can enjoy the festive atmosphere and participate in many interesting activities.
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The Meaning Of Hoa Lu Festival
According to the legend, after the capital was moved to Thang Long (Thăng Long) from Hoa Lu by King Ly Thai To (Lý Thái Tổ), the temple was built on the old foundation of the palace to worship Le Dai Hanh and the King Dinh Tien Hoang and commemorate their merits of building and protecting the country. It is a reason why the Hoa Lu Ancient Traditional Festival is celebrated annually to recognize the great merits and contributions of King Le and King Ding for Vietnamese country.
In the past, Hoa Lu Traditional Festival was known as Truong Yen Festival and was considered as a National Day. Until now, this unique festival has remained the meaning and gratitude, which creates a special thing about the festival and attracts tourists and visitors to explore its cultural and historic values.
The Unique And Traditional Festival In Ninh Binh
Like other traditional festivals in Vietnam, Hoa Lu Festival has two parts including the ceremonies and interesting entertainment activities.
There are two solemn rituals in the ceremonies, including the sacrificial ceremonies and processions.
To start the festival, the opening ceremony takes place at the temple to sacrifice two kings and the gods. Locals ask to open the festival and pray the gods for the successful organization.
The water procession is the most important and meaningful activity during this festival that attracts the encouragement and participation of local people and tourists who travel to Ninh Binh. This procession has the association with the legend of Golden dragon that floated up over the river. The water in Hoang Long River can be taken to the temple and used to worship the statue.
In the procession, two rows of local people carry five-color flag, followed by the orchestra and a palanquin carried by eight strong men in traditional military clothing of Dinh Dynasty and then the local and central delegates.
After that, there is the incense offering to the Kings and Gods. After the water procession and incense offering, the sacrifice ceremony at the religious site of the relic is started. This ceremony is held with the content of reminding and praising the great contribution of two kings. After that, the incense is burned to worship the statues and admire the old sculptures and architectures.
After the ceremony, you can take part in many folk games such as Co Lau Tap Tran (Cỏ Lau Tập Trận). There are two contents that reflect the work and life of King Dinh Tien Hoang in two stages: Tap Tran Co Lau (Tập Trận Cỏ Lau) (children), Keo Chu Thai Binh (Kéo Chữ Thái Bình) (pacification).
Furthermore, you can also participate in some competitions and activities such as wrestling, swimming, dragon dancing, camping, cooking competition, sword dancing, tug of wear and singing contest which create the festive, attractive and fun atmosphere in this festival.
In the festival, you can have a chance to visit two temples of Le Dai Hanh and King Dinh Tien Hoang that are hundreds of years old. It is great to hear the story of life and the contribution of two kings and national hero. Furthermore, if you have enough time, do not forget to explore the tomb of King Dinh Tien Hoang set within Ma Yen Mountain (Núi Mã Yên) and enjoy the beautiful scenery of Hoa Lu.
The Hoa Lu Ancient Traditional Festival owns the cultural and spiritual values that are expressed through ceremonies, entertainment activities, artistic performances and forms of folk. Hoa Lu Festival plays an important role in maintaining the spiritual life, boosting the positive values and increasing the pride of locals in the Hoa Lu ancient capital. I hope that you will find useful information in this article. Any questions can be left below the post, and I will answer them as soon as we can. On Vina.com, we also have a variety of articles associated with Vietnam’s attractions and activities that will definitely be useful for someone who is planning to travel to Vietnam. So, do not hesitate to visit my website if you are interested in our articles.