When is Hung Kings Temple Festival?
The Hùng Kings' Temple Festival (Vietnamese: Giỗ Tổ Hùng Vương or lễ hội đền Hùng) is held each year from the 8th to the 11th days of the third lunar month in honour of the Hùng Kings.
The main festival day is observed on the 10th day of the month and since 2007 this has been a national holiday in Vietnam.
The official name of the festival is 'Death Anniversary of the Hung Kings'. However the date does not mark the death of any specific Hung King but honours their contribution to Vietnam as the traditional founders of the nation and the first emperors.
The first Hùng king was Kinh Dương Vương, who came to power in 2879 BC. He ruled an area covering what is now North Vietnam and part of southern China. The area was called Văn Lang and is regarded as the first nation of the Vietnamese people. Dương Vương founded the Hồng Bàng Dynasty, whose descendants ruled Vietnam until 258 BC.
Each year, the key ceremony takes place at the Hung Temple on Nghia Linh Mountain in Phu Tho Province, some 85km northwest of Hanoi. A procession starts at the foot of the mountain and stops at every temple on the ascent before pilgrims offer prayers and incense to the Hung Kings when they reach the Hung Temple.