Giong Festival at Phu Dong Temple
The Giong Festival at the Phu Dong Temple is held annually from the sixth to the twelfth days of the fourth lunar month in the village of Saint Giong’s birth in Phu Dong Commune, Gia Lam District, Ha Noi.
From the sixth to eighth days, there are ceremonies of carrying flags to Mau (Mother) Temple where is dedicated to the Saint Giong’s mother and carrying offerings of boiled rice and salted egg-plants to Thuong (Upper) Temple where is dedicated to the Saint Giong.
The main day of the festival is the ninth of the fourth lunar month. On this day flags are carried from the Mau Temple to the Thuong Temple to sacrifice to the saint. In addition, fighting against the Yin invaders is re-enacted. The battle is elaborately arranged with the roles of Masters (Ong Hieu) such as the Flag Master, the Drum Master, the Gong Master, the Army Master, and the Children Master – the generals of Saint Giong troop which are played by young men and 28 girls play the enemy generals.
On the tenth day, there are ceremonies of inspecting battlefield and giving offerings to the Saint Giong. On the eleventh day, the ceremony of cleaning and washing weapons with holy water takes place. On the twelfth day, a flag procession goes to announce the victorious news to heaven and earth. There are also ceremony of giving a feast to the troop and cheo performances celebrating the victory.
The Giong Festival of Phu Dong and Soc temples recognized as an intangible cultural heritage of humanity.
Global outstanding value of the Giong Festival is represented as a cultural phenomenon which is preserved and handed down constantly and integrally over many generations. The festival also serves as a community link and contains many creative ideas, expressing the desire for national peace and family prosperity.
The Giong Festival satisfies the criteria for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, as follows:
- R1: The Giong Festival is deeply rooted in the communities of the Red River Delta as part of their identity, transmitted from generation to generation and providing them a sense of continuity; - R2: Its inscription on the Representative List could contribute to promoting human creativity and dialogue between cultures, while providing visibility to intangible cultural heritage; - R3: Diverse and coherent safeguarding measures have been proposed aiming to preserve, document, transmit, recognize and promote the continuity of the Giong Festival, benefiting from the commitment of the communities and the State; - R4: The bearer and practitioner communities were consulted and provided information for the nomination, as well as their free, prior and informed consent; - R5: The Giong Festival is inscribed in an inventory of the intangible cultural heritage of Viet Nam, maintained by the Viet Nam Institute of Culture and Art Studies. travel to vietnam
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