The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has announced a list of eleven newly recognised forms of the nation’s intangible cultural heritage.
Au Co Temple Festival (Source: hanoitimes.com.vn)
The newly recognised cultural heritage consists of traditional festivals, social practices and beliefs, folk performance art and folk knowledge.
They include the worshipping festival dedicated to Au Co—the legendary mother of Vietnam (Phu Tho), the festival of tich dien (“ploughing”), Tran Temple, wrestling (Ha Nam), the Bo Da Pagoda Festival (Bac Giang), the Keo Pagoda Festival (Thai Binh), Duom Temple Festival (Thai Nguyen) and the festival of Ha, Thuong and Y La (Tuyen Quang).
The Au Co Temple Festival takes place for three days from the fifth to the seventh day of the first month of the lunar calendar in the northern province of Phu Tho to pray for peace, good weather, prosperity and happiness.
The festival is opened with a ritual worshipping the guardian deity at the local communal house, followed by a palanquin procession of offerings from the house to Au Co Temple.
The temple was built under the reign of King Le Thanh Tong (15th Century) and named a national historical and cultural relic site in 1991.
Meanwhile, the tich dien (“ploughing”) festival is held on the seventh day of the first month of the lunar calendar, when people pray for farmers.
The festival began in 987 during the Le Dynasty (1428-1788) when King Le Dai Hanh decided to plough in Doi Son Commune, Duy Tien District to wish for bumper crops.
The practice then became an annual tradition held through many dynasties before falling into oblivion under the reign of King Khai Dinh of the Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945). It was restored in 2009.
The art of writing on buong leaves of the Khmer ethnic people in An Giang, along with sac bua (Tet greeting) singing in Ben Tre and han khuong singing of the Thai ethnic group in Yen Bai also received recognition.