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Discovering Craft Villages in Vietnam

Sylvie Fanchette
Nicholas Stedman

Festivals near Hà Nội

Texte intégral

11st–14th days/1st lunar month

2La Cả, Dýõng Nội, Hoài Ðýc, Hà Tây In honour of Dýõng Canh, a soldier in the army of the 16th king of the Hùng Dynasty. He famously killed a number of tigers that were wreaking havoc in the region, and was made a guardian spirit of the village. Processions, religious festivities, games, theatre and cockfighting take place. The most enjoyable part of the festival occurs on the 14th day, when a tiger hunt is performed on stage in the đinh.

32nd–7th days/1st lunar month

4Khê Thýõng, Sõn Ðà, Ba Vì, Hà Tây In honour of Tản Viên, Genie of the Mountains. There is a procession to take the statue of the Genie on his palanquin from the far side of the river Ðà to Mount Nghĩa, at Phú Thọ, to visit his father-in-law, the 18th Hùng king. There are wrestling contests representing the legendary conflict between the Genie of the Mountains (Tản Viên) and the Genie of the Waters (Thủy Tinh).

54th day/1st lunar month

6Đồng Kỵ, Đồng Quang, Từ Sởn, Bắc Ninh (Itinerary 1) In honour of the guardian spirit of the village, Thiên Cýõng Ðế, a warrior in the service of King Výõng, the Hùng king, a native of Ðồng Kỵ, who thwarted a rebellion. He was also the patron of commerce (the village being known for its buffalo trade). There is a contest for the biggest, noisiest firecracker, processions of highly decorated firecrackers (in the form of dragons), wrestling bouts and dances that recall ancient fertility rites. The local clans compete in a race to the biggest column of the đình, symbolising the four squadrons commanded by Thiên Cýõng Ðế during the battle.

74th–5th days/1st lunar month

8Phật Tích Pagoda, Phật Tích, Tiên Du, Bắc Ninh (Itinerary 1) Religious festival: celebration of the Buddha. Veneration of King Lý Thánh Tông. Asking for blessings to obtain contentment and stability, etc.

94th–6th days/1st lunar month

10Trăm Gian Pagoda, Tiên Lữ, Tiền Phýõng, Chýõng Mỹ, Hà Tây (Itinerary 8) In honour of Nguyễn Bình An, hallowed as Saint Bối. Procession of the statue of Saint Bôi on a palanquin, water puppet shows, living chess and wrestling.

114th–7th days/1st lunar month

12Đông Hồ, Thuận Thành, Bắc Ninh (Itinerary 3) Festival to celebrate the craftancestor of traditional prints and votive objects.

135th day/1st lunar month

14Ðống Ða Hill, Khýõng Thýợng ðình, Ðống Ða, Hà Nội Festival taking place on the site of national hero Quang Trung’s victory over Sino-Manchu invaders during the Qing Dynasty, in spring 1789, and veneration of the fallen warriors. Performances, wrestling, unicorn dance and popular games (swing, cockfights, living chess).

156th /1st lunar month

16Đình of Đình Bảng, Từ Sõn, Bắc Ninh (Itinerary 1) An annual festival in honour of the Lục Tổ, the six founders of the village (from the 15th century).

176th–16th days/1st lunar month

1812 villages of Cổ Loa Commune, Ðông Anh, Hà Nội. Takes place between Cổ Loa Citadel and An Dýõng Výõng Temple Cổ Loa Festival in honour of King An Dýõng Výõng, who founded the Âu Lạc Kingdom and the Cổ Loa Citadel to fight offthe Chinese enemy in the 3rd century BC. Very long procession in the King’s honour of dignitaries and citizens from the 12 villages. Wrestling, games (tug-of-war, rice-cooking contests, cockfighting, living chess), performances of chèo and tuồng theatre, Ca Trù singing competition.

196th day/1st lunar month

20Vó, Quảng Phú, Lýõng Tài, Bắc Ninh The village of Vó (or Quảng Bố), close to Ðại Bái (Itinerary 3), specialises in bronze. Veneration of the founding ancestor of the craftNguyễn Công Lê, procession, games, duck-catching contests, cockfighting, chèo and tuồng theatre.

216th–15th days/1st lunar month

22Linh Sõn Temple, Nga Hoàng, Quế Võ, Bắc Ninh Celebration of guardian spirits: Linh Sõn Mỹ, daughter of one of the Hùng kings, at the temple and Ðống Vành at the đình. Chen, a kind of mass scrummage between girls and boys (symbolising equilibrium between the sexes and universal harmony) recalling ancient fertility rites. Anyone who doesn’t take part will bring bad luck to the village! In the đình there is another ritual performance: lights-out while girls and boys get friendly together!

237th day/1st lunar month

24Phù Lãng, Quế Võ, Bắc Ninh (Itinerary 1 b) In honour of Lýu Phong Tú, founder of the pottery craft.

257th day/1st lunar month

26Sóc Sõn Temple, Vệ Linh, Phù Linh, Sóc Sõn, Hà Nội In honour of the genie Gióng. Cult of mộc dục (bathing of the statues), bamboo procession (ancient ceremony involving the linga, a phallic symbol, but also one of Gióng’s weapons), elephant procession, betel procession, canoes and mime simulating the decapitation of enemy officers.

277th–14th days/1st lunar month

28Làng, Dýõng Nội, Hoài Ðức, Hà Tây In honour of Dýõng Cảnh, guardian spirit of the village in the days of the Hùng kings. Processions, Ca Trù musical performance, games, tiger hunt…

298th day/1st lunar month

30Thị Cấm, Từ Liêm, Hà Nội Rice-cooking festival in honour of Phan Tây Nhạc, a commander in the armies of the 18th Hùng king. When his troops billeted near the village, he organised a rice-cooking contest. On his death, he was made guardian spirit of the village. Three types of contest take place: filling the pot with water, lighting the fires, and cooking the rice.

319th day/1st lunar month

32Thôn Ngọ, Chuyên Mỹ, Hà Tây (Itinerary 6) In honour of Trýõng Công Thành, founding ancestor of mother-of-pearl inlay work on wood.

339th–11th days/1st lunar month

34Triều Khúc, Tân Triều, Thanh Trì, Hà Nội In honour of King Phùng Hýng, who liberated Ðai La (Hà Nội) in 791 from Chinese Tang invaders, defeating them in battle here in the village. The king was made guardian spirit. A second guardian spirit is also venerated during the festival: Vũ Uy, a mandarin who went to serve as an ambassador to China where he learned to weave fibres into conical hats (nón). The village grew wealthy from the craftand subsequently specialised in silk weaving and flag making. The festival takes place in the two đình, at Sắc and Đại. The Đại đình, the larger of the two, is dedicated to the cult of King Phùng Hýng. Processions, flag and dragon dances, wrestling and chèo theatre.

3510th–13th days/1st lunar month

36Ða Hoà and Dạ Trạch Temples, Yên Vinh, Khoái Châu, Hýng Yên and Chử Ðồng Tử Temple, Tự Nhiên, Thýờng Tín, Hà Tây (Itinerary 6) In honour of Chử Ðồng Tử and his wife, princess Tiên Dung. Water procession: a boat decorated with dragons is launched on the Red River for princess Tiên Dung to perform her ablutions. The convoy, with husband and wife seated on their palanquin, sets offfrom the đình towards the temple of Ða Hoà, passing each of the places where the couple lived. On another palanquin, relics of the venerable couple are paraded through the village: the conical hat and the miraculous stick. Theatre, trống quân music, games, cockfighting, living chess, unicorn dance, con đĩ đánh bồng (“brazen strumpets banging on bongos”, performed by men dressed as women). The festival takes place on both banks of the Red River, in the temples at Ða Hoà (leftbank) and Chử Ðồng Tử (right bank).

3712th–15th days/1st lunar month

38Ða Sĩ, Hà Ðông, Hà Tây

39In honour of a famous doctor at the royal court during the Lê dynasty (18th century), Hoàng Ðôn Hòa, and his wife, Princess Phýõng Dung, renowned for her wisdom in traditional healing. The festival takes place every three years. Also celebrated is the founder of the knifemaking craft, who is the guardian spirit of the village. Procession between temple and đình. Dragon dance, procession, cockfighting, wrestling, ca trù song, tuồng chèo theatre.

4013th–15th days/1st lunar month

41Lim Festival, Lũng Giang, Nội Dụê, Tiên Sõn, Bắc Ninh (Itinerary 1) In honour of Hiếu Trung Hầu, founder of quan họ, a love duet tradition. The festival starts with a quan họ contest involving competitors from the 49 villages of Bắc Ninh Province that specialise in this form of song. It takes place in the Hồng Vân Pagoda on the hill called Lim, and then in boats around the village. Processions, games (swing, tug-of-war, living chess, wrestling…).

4213th day/1st lunar month

43Pig Festival at La Phù, Hoài Ðức, Hà Tây (Itinerary 4)

44In honour of a 17th-century general who defended the village. Whenever he drilled his troops before combat, villages would lay on a feast of sticky rice and pork dishes. The festival takes place every year on the day of his death. Main activity: a procession of village elders, 32 young villagers and a 120–200 kg pig, to the temple dedicated to the general. Ceremonies to petition the guardian spirit for a good harvest, good fortune and prosperity.

4513th day/1st lunar month

46Vạn Phúc đình, Hà Ðông, Hà Tây (Itinerary 4) In honour of the founder of silk weaving, female ancestor Lã Thị Nga.

4713th day/1st lunar month

48Chùa Bối Khê, Hýng Giáo, Tam Hýng, Thanh Oai, Hà Tây (Itinerary 7) Bối Khê Pagoda Festival. Living chess matches, games, music, etc.

4915th day/1st lunar month

50La Khê, Hà Ðông, Hà Tây (Itinerary 4)

51Festival of the đình.

5215th day/1st lunar month–end of the 3rd lunar month

53Perfume Pagoda, Hýõng, Hýõng Sõn, Mỹ Ðức, Hà Tây

54One of the largest and longest festivals in the country. There are no games or cultural events, but rather visits to a number of sacred sites, pagodas and temples, clinging to the mountainside or inside caves. Access is by boat on the Bến Ðục River. Some young couples head for the Hýõng Tích Pagoda, an immense cave ornamented with stalagmites and stalactites, to have a priest offer prayers for a male child.

5518th day/1st lunar month

56Phù Ninh, Ninh Hiệp, Gia Lâm, Hà Nội (Itinerary 2) In honour of Lady Thái Lão, the crafts ancestor for the processors of medicinal plants and of silk weaving. The festival is held in Điếm Kiều Temple, built to pay homage to her.

5720th-22th days/1st lunar month

58Thổ Hà, Việt Yên, Bắc Giang (Itinerary 1b)

59The village’s spring festival goes on for three days, with traditional games, entertainment, quan họ singing and tuồng opera.

602nd–10th days/2nd lunar month

61Tích Giang, Phúc Thọ, Hà Tây

62In honour of Tản Viên, Genie of the Mountains. Fishing contest to offer catches to the genie, fish supper, water puppets, đúm song, game of đáo đĩa.

631st–10th days/2nd lunar month

64Đại Lộ Temple, Ninh Sở, Thýờng Tín, Hà Tây (Itinerary 6)

65Cult of the Sacred Mothers who protect trading fleets on the Red River. Procession, bathing of statues in the Red River, lên ðồng spiritualism, dragon dance, lion dance, living chess, quan họ songs, cockfighting.

665th–6th days/2nd lunar month

67Sõn Ðộng, Hoài Ðức, Hà Tây (Itinerary 9)

68In honour of Hoàng Phó Thái Công, who fought in the war against the Chinese. Buffalo sacrifice, cockfighting, dances, procession and contests to prepare bánh dáy and bánh cuôn, sticky rice cakes. Another mating ritual is the contest to grab a length of sacred bamboo (cýớp bông).

696th–7th days/2nd lunar month

70Vua Bà Temple, Làng Viêm Xá, Hoà Long, Yên Phong, Bắc Ninh (near Cầu river, on the other side of Thổ Hà) In honour of Vua Bà, the founding ancestor of quan họ traditional duet singing. Ceremony on the anniversary of the death of the founder, during which quan cầu đảo, and quan họ trùm ðầu songs are performed. Contests are also organised.

718th–10th days/2nd lunar month

72Thanh Liệt đình, Thanh Liệt, Thanh Trì, Hà Nội

73In honour of Phạm Tu and Chu Văn An. Procession of palanquins from the đình at Nội (dedicated to Chu Văn An) to the đình at Ngoại (dedicated to Phạm Tu), classical theatre, traditional games such as cockfighting, bỏi chess.

749th day/2nd lunar month

75Cổ Nhuế, Từ Liêm, Hà Nội

76In honour of Ðông Chinh Výõng (fifth son of King Lê Thái Tổ, who fought against the Ming Dynasty Chinese), his wife, and Princess Tạ Minh Hiền. Procession, bỏi chess, living chess, quan họ and cockfighting.

779th–11th days/2nd lunar month

78Giàn ðình, Cáo Ðỉnh, Xuân Ðỉnh, Từ Liêm, Hà Nội

79In honour of Lý Phục Man (a general during the Lý Dynasty who fought offthe invaders of Lýõng and Lâm Ấp). Procession, living chess, cockfighting, traditional wrestling.

8010th day/2nd lunar month

81Đại Bái, Thuận Thành, Bắc Ninh (Itinerary 3)

82Anniversary of the death of the ancestor of metal beating, Nguyễn Công Hiệp.

8312th–16th days/2nd lunar month

84Đình Bảng đình, Từ Sõn Bắc Ninh (Itinerary 1)

85Đình festival honouring the three spirits or genies (the Mountain genie, Water genie, and Agriculture genie) and the six guardian spirits of the six village clans who rebuilt the settlement after it was destroyed by the Ming invaders. Wrestling bouts here draw in the best wrestlers in the region (the Lý kings were great fans of wrestling). Martial arts, cockfighting, chess tournaments. Offerings such as roast buffalo, boiled pork and sticky rice are made to the spirits.

8614th–16th days/2nd lunar month

87Bát Tràng đình, Gia Lâm, Hà Nội (Itinerary 2)

88In honour of Hán Cao Tổ, Queen Lữ Cai O Minh Chính, General Phan, Hồ Quốc Thần and the genie Bạch Mã. Water procession, washing of the genie’s ancestral tablets, ca trù song contest.

8920th day/2nd lunar month

90Phú Thụy Temple, Dýõng Xá, Gia Lâm, Hà Nội (Itinerary 3)

91In honour of Lady Ỷ Lan, important royal figure and first concubine of King Lý Thánh Tông (11th century).

922nd–6th days/3rd lunar month

93Bình Ðà, Bình Minh, Thanh Oai, Hà Tây

94Firecracker festival, in honour of Lạc Long Quân, father of the Vietnamese. Competitions for different firecrackers and fireworks (Binh Ðà was, until 1994, the centre of the firecracker industry). Processions.

956th day/3rd lunar month

96Tây Phýõng Pagoda, Thạch Xá, Thạch Thất, Hà Tây)

97Festival incorporating religious ceremonies to pray for good luck and request blessings from the Buddha. This Lê Dynasty pagoda is famous for its beautiful columns and wooden statues.

987th day/3rd lunar month

99Thầy Pagoda, Thụy Khê, Sài Sõn, Quốc Oai, Hà Tây (Itinerary 9)

100In honour of the monk, Từ Ðạo Hạnh. A number of nearby villages take part (including Ða Phúc, Khánh Tân, Sài Khê, all sites of famous pagodas). The statue of Từ Ðạo Hạnh is bathed, games are organised, and there is chèo theatre and especially water puppet shows in the pavilion on Lake Long Chiểu. On the feast day, which is the anniversary of Từ Đạo Hạnh’s birth, a procession parades around the four villages. Ancestral tablets are brought out for the occasion.

10110th day/3rd lunar month

102Vạn Ninh, Gia Bình, Bắc Ninh

103Celebration of Cao Lỗ, inventor of the crossbow. Boat races on the river between the commune’s seven villages.

10410th day/3rd lunar month

105Yên Sở ðình, Hoài Ðức, Hà Tây

106In honour of Lý Phục Man, a celebrated commander in the Lý Nam Đế army in the 6th century, and a native of Cổ Sở, the old name for Yên Sở.

107There is a performance representing the review of the Imperial army, processions, fireworks, music, etc.

10815th–18th days/3rd lunar month

109Lý Bát Đế Temple or Đô Temple, Đình Bảng, Từ Sõn, Bắc Ninh (Itinerary 1)

110This annual festival honours the eight kings of the Lý Dynasty. Every third or fourth year, it becomes a larger-scale affair. Statues of the eight kings are paraded from the Đô Temple and Cổ Pháp where Lý Công Uẩn (later called Lý Thái Tổ), who founded the Lý Dynasty, spent his childhood in a monastery. Elements of the Buddhist faith combine with traditional beliefs in the supernatural. Games, cockfighting, wrestling. Living chess matches re-enact historic struggles between the Lý and Trần Dynasties.

11123rd day/3rd lunar month

112Lệ Mật, Gia Lâm (Hà Nội)

113In honour of Hoàng Ngọc Trung who is alleged to have killed a river monster and saved the daughter of Lý Thái Tông as she was walking on the banks of the Đuống. As a reward, Trung was granted a royal privilege, along with his village companions, to clear and cultivate the territories west of the capital. Procession of a pot filled with water and a carp fished from the village well. Serpent dance, recalling the exploits of the hero. On this day, representatives from the villages that the pioneers established (a present-day district of Hà Nội) go to Lệ Mật.

1148th day/4th lunar month

115Dâu Pagoda, Liên Lâu, Thuận Thành, Bắc Ninh and also in 12 other villages of Thuận Thành District (Itinerary 3)

116At the Dâu Pagoda, a major Buddhist centre, and in four other pagodas in the district of Thuận Thành, four goddesses are venerated: Cloud, Rain, Thunder and Lightning, the daughters of Man Nýõng. Processions, contests, games (chess, fireworks, etc.), dances, wrestling. The festival is linked to Buddhist religious practices and fertility cults.

1176th–12th days/4th lunar month

118Phù Ðổng and Phù Ðực temples, Gia Lâm, Hà Nội (Itinerary 2)

119Commemorating the genie Thanh Gióng, or Phù Ðổng Thiên Výõng, a young hero who fought the Chinese army during the Hùng Dynasty (6th king). Rituals connected with water, processions, food offerings in the temple, water puppetry performances, races, dance of the standard bearers, flag ceremonies, plays commemorating the battles against the Chinese.

1204th day/5th lunar month

121Dý Dụ, Thanh Thùy, Thanh Oai, Hà Tây (Itinerary 5)

122Festival to celebrate the anniversary of the death of Lỗ Ban, founder of the craftof wood sculpture.

12315th day/5th lunar month

124Chèm ðình, Thụy Phýõng, Từ Liêm, Hà Nội

125The very old đình Chèm is dedicated to the cult of Lý Thân, alias Lý Ông Trọng, a legendary figure from the time of the Hùng Dynasty. He was sent to China on a mission to help the Qin emperor repel the Mongols. Water processions, bathing of the statue of Lý Thân in the Red River, ceremony in honour of the Buddha. Kite-flying contest, releasing of birds, wrestling, popular theatre, living chess.

12612th day/6th lunar month

127Quất Động, Thýờng Tín, Hà Tây (Itinerary 6)

128Celebration of the death of the founding father of the craftof embroidery, Lê Công Hành.

12912th day/8th lunar month

130Thụy Ứng, Thýờng Tín, Hà Tây (Itinerary 5)

131Festival of the founding father of horn carving.

13216th day/8th lunar month

133Nhị Khê ðền, Thýờng Tín, Hà Tây (Itinerary 5)

134In honour of Nguyễn Trãi (1380-1442), great diplomat, strategist and man of letters. He assisted the leader of the popular uprising, Lê Lợi, in organising resistance against Ming Dynasty Chinese invaders. Takes place in the temple dedicated to him.

13517th day/8th lunar month

136Kiêu Kỵ, Gia Lâm, Hà Nội (Itinerary 2)

137Craftancestors Nguyễn Quý Trị (end of the 18th century) and Vũ Danh Thuận (beginning of the 19th) are honoured with a celebration in the đình.

13829th day/9th lunar month

139Đại Bái, Gia Bình, Bắc Ninh (Itinerary 3)

140Festival to venerate the ancestor of the craft(of metalbeating), Mr. Nguyễn Công Truyền.

1416th–11th days/10th lunar month

142Than Temple, Cao Đức, Gia Binh, Bắc Ninh

143In honour of General Cao Lỗ, who helped King An Dýõng Výõng to build the citadel of Cổ Loa. Dragon dance, wrestling, a theatrical display imitating a tiger hunt.

14425th day/10th lunar month

145Nhị Khê, Thýờng Tín, Hà Tây, (Itinerary 5)

146In honour of Doãn Vãn Tài, founder of woodturning craftin the 16th century. Takes place in the temple.

14711th day/11th lunar month

148Hạ Thái, Duyên Thái, Thýờng Tín, Hà Tây (Itinerary 5) In honour of Bùi Sỹ Lýõng (military official of the Lê Dynasty, after the 15th century) and Madam Đinh Thị Trạch, the guardian spirits of the village. On the feast days, villagers set up a pole next to the well and organise ceremonies and festivities including water processions, mộc dục (washing of statues), cult rituals in the đình, wrestling, sinh tiền and lion dances, etc.

14926th–27th days/11th lunar month

150Đậu Pagoda, Hà Tây (Itinerary 5)

151In honour of the Water Genie and Buddha. Blessings requested to bring rains and a good harvest.

1526th day/12th lunar month

153Đại Bái, Gia Binh, Bắc Ninh (Itinerary 3)

154Festival in honour of Lạc Long Quân, the forefather of the Việt. Besides ceremonies and a procession, the festival involves villagers in a performance known as the “pouting dragon”. Thirty or forty young men take part, wearing only g-strings. They form up in single file behind the elder dignitaries who strike gongs while moving in zigzag fashion, in the snaking movements of a dragon.

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