Referring to Ninh Binh, people not only think of charming landscapes but also cultural and festival characteristics. Ninh Binh Hoa Lu Festival (Truong Yen festival) is one of the unique and expected festivals of the year. Over a long history of more than 1,050 years, Hoa Lu festival still carries outstanding cultural and historical values. Hoa Lu Festival has been recognized as an intangible cultural heritage of Vietnam.

Hoa Lu festival takes place every year at the beginning of the third lunar month, the main festival is on March 10, in the ancient capital of Hoa Lu of the ancient Dai Co Viet country – where the temple of King Dinh Tien Hoang and King Le Dai is located. Onion. According to legend, March 10 is the day when King Dinh ascended the throne. Two solemn ceremonies are the water procession and the sacrifice ceremony.

Hoa Lu Festival – Cultural and historical features
The land of Ninh Binh was called Truong Yen palace from the Ly dynasty until the dynasties later. Therefore, the big festival of this land is also called Truong Yen festival. In 2016, the name “Truong Yen Festival” was changed to “Hoa Lu Festival”. Hoa Lu Festival in Ninh Binh takes place at the beginning of the third lunar month (from March 6 to March 10).

More than 1000 years ago, Dinh Bo Linh, after quelling the rebellion of 12 warlords, was crowned emperor with the name Dinh Tien Hoang. Under the Dinh dynasty – Hoa Lu was chosen as the capital of Dai Co Viet country. This is the first centralized feudal state of our country. Next was the succession of the Le dynasty. The Le Dynasty also had historical feats in fighting Tong Binh Chiem, the entire territory of the country.

According to history books, Truong Yen festival is a solemn ceremony, a National Ceremony to commemorate the Emperors and national heroes: King Dinh Tien Hoang De and Le Dai Hanh. On the day of the annual festival, the Thang Long court or the Hue court sent officials to return here to attend and take charge of the ritual.

The fire procession is a ritual performed at two temples of King Dinh as a connection between the place of birth, the process of growing up, completing the country’s mission and ending at the place where he ascended the throne. The sacred fire is lit and the procession is carried out from Dinh Bo Linh temple (Gia Vien, Ninh Binh) to King Dinh Tien Hoang temple (Truong Yen, Hoa Lu). The incense offering ceremony took place for hundreds of people to return to pay respects to the first emperor.

The other ceremonies of the ceremony: the donation ceremony, the palanquin procession, the lantern festival all take place in a very solemn space, expressing the gratitude and remembrance of the people.

The festival part of Hoa Lu festival takes place with a variety of unique folk games: drills, boat racing, stick dance, cheo singing competition, etc. Some typical and typical carnival games of the festival Hoa Lu can be mentioned as:

  • Opening of the festival: a contemporary stage performance to open the Hoa Lu festival is broadcast live. After the introduction, the opening speech and the speech were the drum screen of Hoa Lu festival. The performances recreated important historical events that took place in the ancient capital of Hoa Lu such as the enthronement of the emperors, defeating the Song invaders, moving the capital to Thang Long, …
  • Chess rehearsal: As a game that replays the rehearsals and training sessions of King Dinh in his youth. The game has the participation of 60 teenagers 13-15 years old. Choose one of the most handsome children to play Dinh Bo Linh and the rest will be part of 3 pieces. The performance shows the will of the hero Dinh and the three troops.
  • Typing Thai Binh: Participating in this performance, there are 120 young girls wearing blue four-piece dresses, holding flags, and running after the drum beat every 3 hours. Each row, each row will in turn drag the letters to create the word “Thai Binh”. The performance with the prominent image of the word “Thai Binh” after lowering the flag is meant to commemorate the era name that King Dinh Tien Hoang set when he ascended the throne.

Over a period of more than 1,050 years, Hoa Lu Festival has been attached and ingrained in the subconscious of every Ninh Binh people. Traditional values remain intact passed down from generation to generation as a continuation of the historical flow. The people of Ninh Binh in particular and the people of Vietnam in general have always looked towards their national roots.

The ceremony took place at night at the same time in two temples of King Dinh and King Le. The liturgy is divided into nine paragraphs (nine stanzas). After the celebrant finished reciting a passage, two wardens (one male – lute, one female – sang) reinterpreted the content of the sacrificial passage with the ca tru tune. At the end of the sacrifice ceremony, pilgrims gather at the shrines at the two temples to offer incense and worship the relics.

Visitors to the festival can participate in fun games and competitions such as martial arts, wrestling, boat racing, swinging, singing chau van, poetry reviews, poetry contests, word pulling, stick dancing, dragon dance, lion dance or playing chess. People…

The most unique of Truong Yen’s festivals is the game “Field rehearsal”, which reenacts the story of Dinh Bo Linh’s childhood as a buffalo herder in Truong Yen land. Spring trip to Truong Yen festival is also an opportunity for tourists to visit the relics of King Dinh temple, King Le temple, visit King Dinh’s mausoleum on the top of Ma Yen mountain, about 150m high, to remember the origin and ancestors – a land “terrestrial genius”.

The unique features of Hoa Lu festival have been attracting the love of tourists from all over the world when coming to Ninh Binh. If you have not had the opportunity to witness and participate in this unique festival, arrange to come here for the 2023 Hoa Lu festival in the next 3 lunar month!

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