Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Hung Temple

The Hung Temple is the palace sacred to every Vietnamese heart. it is an ancient historical vestige, a beautiful architectural ensample on top the metre - high Nghia Linh mount in Hy Cuong commune, Phong Chau district, Phu Tho province.Return to history, visit Hung Temple with Vietnam Travel.
From the main entrance, the visitor walks up stone steps in the shade of high trees and arrives at Den ha (The Lower Temple). According to the legend, lady Au Co was developed into one hundred buys. Afterward King Lac Long Quan led 50 of them down to the plain, lady Au Co led 49 uh the mountain; the eldest son became King Hung Vuong who established his capital in Phong Chau, gave the country the name of Van Lang. The Vietnamese nation was born. After burning incense sticks at Den Ha in homage to our forefathers we walk on to the Hung Kings often came here with their ministers to discuss the affairs of the state. This was also here that Lang Lieu, a poor prince, used the grains of rice produced by himself to make Chung cake and Giay pie which he offered as gifts to the Father King on the occasion of the Lunar New Year.

Modern Tower For Ancient Hung King Temple

A major part of the planned revamp will go into building the Hung Vuong Tower.

Hung King Temple historical site's management board will announce a design contest for the tower online at next month.

Nguyen Tien Khoi, director of the management board said the idea to build the Hung Vuong Tower was first raised by former Party General Secretary Le Duan.

In his visit to the Temple in 1997, the then Party General Secretary said he wanted to see a tower built in the Hung Temple so that the Vietnamese people from all parts of the country could "look" to the tower to be reminded of their ancestors and the nation's founders.

Khoi said the tower should be 18 tiers high, which will symbolise 18 generations of Hung Kings.

"The winning design will meet three criterion: nationality, modernity and symbolism," said Khoi. "The third criteria is the most important, ensuring that the tower will become a symbol of the country."

Symbols such as Thap Rua (Tortoise Tower), Mot Cot (One-Pillar) Pagoda, Khue Van Cac in Hanoi and the gate to Ben Thanh Market in HCM City were too small to be national-scale symbols.

Khoi said he hoped the grand tower would become a new national symbol.

According to the management board's plan, the tower's grounds include stalls that will showcase the traditional products of Vietnam's 54 ethnic groups.

Meetings and conferences will take place at halls on the first floor.

Hung King artefacts will be displayed on the second floor.

The board hasn't approved proposals for the remainder of the floors, said Khoi.

However, the director agreed that its architecture would depend on architects from the Viet Nam Architecture Association.

He said the management board could learn from Chinese architects who built the 468m-high Oriental Pearl TV Tower in Shanghai, the world's third-tallest TV and radio tower.

The project also includes construction of a war memorial, cultural centre for young people, rural market, reception house, festival centre, hotel and a mini-golf course, in addition to re-building about 20 constructions.

The project, which already has approval from the Prime Minister, also aims to restore the Thuong Temple and ancient relics at Nghia Linh Mountain.

About VND36 billion is earmarked for restoring Thuong Temple, said Khoi, and work should ensure architecture that's simple and similar in design to local residential houses.

A VND300 billion-invested concrete area for religious ceremonies at the foot of Nghia Linh Mountain has already been inaugurated and Lac Long Quan Temple, with investment of VND128 billion, is expected to be completed late this year.

The project's investment is estimated to be between VND5 trillion (approximately US$310 million) and VND6 trillion, and will come from the State budget.

It is scheduled to be completed in 2015.

Pilgrims Flock To Hung Kings Festival

Drawing locals, overseas Vietnamese and foreigners, the ceremony will involve an incense tribute at the Temple of the Hung Kings on Mount Nghia Linh to honour the legendary founding father of Vietnam.

Representatives from the Party, the State and relevant central and local agencies will attend. Trays of fruits, flowers and square and round glutinous rice cakes (banh chung and banh day) will be presented at the ceremony.

Legend has it that the square cake represents the Earth and the round cake Heaven.

Pilgrims will also lay flowers at President Ho Chi Minh’s statue at the Gieng Temple where the president met Division Tien Phong (Vanguard) of the Vietnam People’s Army as soldiers advanced to take over Hanoi from the French in 1954.

Offerings from all corners of the country will be made at other temples at Mount Nghia Linh to honour the Hung Dynasty and its 18 generations of national rule.

The seminar Cultural Space of the Hung Kings Land will produce a cultural heritage proposal, the first of its kind, for submission to UNESCO in recognition of the site as part of world heritage.

On the sixth day of the third lunar month, the festival opened with A Poetry Night to the Root and was followed by an enormous coffee cup display, recognised by the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest ever of its kind and offered at the Vietnamese ancestors’ altar. One hundred workers of the Bien Hoa Vinacafe used 816kg of instant coffee to fill the cup with 3,613 litres of java.

Cultural activities will include a procession of palanquins, folk songs and performances such as hat xoan and lion dancing. Sports competitions like swimming, shooting cross-bow, Chinese chess and traditional wrestling are also on offer, according to organisers.

Famous art troupes from the Viet Bac Folk Song and Dance Theatre, the Phu Tho Cheo Art Troupe and the Republic of Korea ’s Art Troupe in conjunction with many others will also perform.

Viet Tri City will celebrate with a fireworks display.

“Differing from last year, this year’s Hung Kings Festival will include fairs displaying fruit specialities from provinces and cities nationwide under the theme: Fragrant Fruits for Hung Kings. Competition on wrapping and cooking banh chung and banh day will be held with the participation of more than 30 cities and provinces from north to south.

“We aimed to choose a location known for delicious and beautiful cakes to offer to the Hung Kings,” said Nguyen Tien Khoi, director of the Hung Temple historical relic.

Exhibitions titled Images on the Hung Kings’ Death Anniversary Nationwide and Hung Kings Festival in the Past and Present at the Hung Kings Museum will appeal to those looking for historical angles to the festival.

A book exhibition will be staged at the provincial library to help visitors better understand the land and people of Phu Tho.

This year is the second of the new national holiday created by the Government to honour the founding of the country by the Hung family 4,000 years ago.