Hung Kings Temple festival is one of the most important national festivals in Viet Nam. Every year, when the third lunar month comes, all Vietnamese citizens head for Nghia Linh Mountain, Hy Cuong, Lam Thao, Phu Tho province in commemoration of Hung kings. The death anniversary of the Hung Kings takes place on the 10th day of the 3rd lunar month with a string of new activities.
There will be a number of exhibitions displaying photos, paintings, documents and objects that feature Hung King worshipping rituals, Xoan singing, which is now in the UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage in need of urgent protection, as well as land and people of Phu Tho.
Vietnamese legend has it that Lac Long Quan, son of Kinh Duong Vuong, married Au Co, daughter of King De Lai. Au Co gave birth to a sack containing 100 eggs from which 100 children were born. The couple then decided to separate in order to populate the land and propagate the race, so half the children followed their mother to the highlands and the remaining went with their father to the sea.
The first child went with mother Au Co to Phong Chau, now Phu Tho province. He then became King Hung and founded the first nation in the history of Viet Nam, called Van Lang.
Ruling the country over 18 generations, the Hung Kings taught the people how to grow wet rice. They chose Nghia Linh Mountain, the highest in the region, to perform rituals devoted to rice and sun deities to pray for lush crops.
To honour the great contributions of the Hung Kings, a complex of temples dedicated to them was built on Nghia Linh Mountain, and the tenth day of the third lunar month serves as the national commemorative anniversary.
The worshipping rituals of the Hung Kings are closely related to the ancestral worshipping traditions of most Vietnamese families, which form an important part of their spiritual lives. It was recognised as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2012.