- Honoring: Two women generals (Hai Ba Trung)
- Location and time: The festival is hold in three places.
– Hat Mon Temple Festival: (Hat Mon commune, Phuc Tho district, Ha Noi). There is three festival in a year:
– From the 4th to the 7th day of the third lunar month
– The 4th day of the ninth lunar month
– The 24thday of the twelveth lunar month.
– Ha Loi Temple Festival (Ha Loi commune, Me Linh district, Hanoi): The main festival day is on the 6th day of the third lunar month (The celebration of feasting the army and palanquin procession).
– Dong Nhan Temple Festival (Dong Nhan ward, Hai Ba Trung District, Hanoi): The 6th day of the second lunar month.
Feature: in the Hat Mon temple festival, there is a custom of giving the floating cake on the river.
Origin of Hai Ba Trung Temple Festival
The revolt of Hai Ba Trung against the Chinese East arm in the 40s is short but very meaningful in the rising the independent soul of the Vietnamese people and Vietnamese women in general.
According to the Vietnamese account, the two Trung Sisters, riding elephants leading the troops in battle, defeated the Han invaders, gaining independence for the country after more than two centuries of domination by the foreign feudal invaders. For the first time in Vietnamese history, the country of Viet had a king, more significantly a woman king. In many historical references and books, since their great achievement, the Vietnamese people consider them as the national heroines, even sacred spirits, and they built temples in many parts of the country to honour and worship them.
The Festival starts with a procession of carrying the king’s palanquin and the fighting elephants, together with other offerings from Ha Loi communal house to the Hai Ba Trung Temple, with the participation of hundreds of Me Linh villagers and members of traditional ritual performing groups. During the Festival, folk games and artistic performances are held, such as dragon and lion dancing, cheo (operetta) singing, wrestling competition, swinging, etc.
Many domestic pilgrims and foreign tourists attend the Festival in honour of the national heroines’ merits or to learn about an important event in the country’s history. This is also one of the cultural and festive events to be held in 2010 in celebration of the 1,000th anniversary of Thang Long – Hanoi.
In the Hat Mon festival, there is an interesting custom which is giving the floating cake on the river. People take 49 cakes (in the symbol of 49 sons of Lac Long Quan (father of Vietnamese people) to place in the lotus and drift into the river to let it come to the sea.