Bac Cung Temple Festival

12/02/2014

                Every year when spring comes, Tam Hong people (Yen Lac District) organize festival in memory of Tan Vien Saint, a hero who cleared land and controlled flood in Hung King Dynasty, from the 6 through thr 15 of January Lunar days.

 

Legand has it that, Tan Vien Saint, his real name is Nguyen Tuan, a sone of a senior with his family name is Nguyen in Tay Son. When he is 6 years old, his mother and him live on Ma Thi Cao (a daughter of Ginie of Tan Vien Mountain). Nguyen Tuan goes to forest to cut wood and meets Thai Bach Ginie. As he is very handsome, the Ginie handsover a deity stick to him and teaches him magic words to serve people. He saves a child of Dragon King later, so the King offers him a book, in which he can know every mysterious thing in the world. Knowing that he is a pious man, his foster-mother offers him to govern everything in Tan Vien Mountain. When Hung King chooses My Nuong’s husband, Nguyen Tuan, thanks to the precious book and genie stick, seeks for a betrothal gifts to Water Ginie and marries Mi Nuong. Having defeated Water Ginie and Thuc enemy, Hung King deligates power to Nguyen Tuan but he refuses and asks the King for trvelling to serve the people. When passing by Tam Hong, he finds it is a charming landscape so he stops and teaches people how to plough and transplant rice, fishing and argricultural production. To memorize his merit, Tam Hong people build a Temple named Thinh Temple. As Thinh Temple is constructed in the North of Ba Vi Mountain and Red River Delta, so people call it Bac Cung Temple (one of the four Palaces to worship Tan Vien Ginie). Tan Vien Ginie is very wonder working. Each time people face the drough, flooded if they worship the Ginie, the favorable climate will come to help people. In the cold climate,  Ginie appears in the stream slot and carries the magical stick to remedy deases for the poor. Everywhere he comes, he lets the temples and thrines appear for his recreation. People see where a trace of temple, thrine has, people build temple or thrine for worship.

Coming back to Bac Cung today, stangding under thr roof of the old Temple we can enjoy a pretty cultural works built 20 centuries back. At first this Temple is only a snall thrine imprinting a place the Great King Nguyen Tuan’s coming and residence. Til the dynasty of Ly Nhan Tong King (10721128), it is built to become a temple for King to pray to God for longevity. Experiences by Tran, Le dynasties, Bac Cung gets more and more spacious. Under Ming Mang King (1820-1840), the Temple restored many times. Under Thanh Thai King, the District Chief of Yen Lac assigns Monk named Thanh At to restore the Temple. The restoration lasts six years (1900-1921) to complete. Going through risings and fallings, people maintain and preserve the Temple. Til 1992, Government recognizes it as National level historic relics. Every year,  Bac Cung Festival lasts from the 6 day after Tet to the end of January lunar day. In the worship part, Tam Hong people carry palanquin from Phu Luu, Man De, Tao Phu, Nho Lam to the Temple. Each vllage has a sacefice board, including head sacreficer, East and West sacreficer; sacrifice manservant, and servant and halberd carriers. The sacreficer head must be over 60 years old, and the man has sons and daughters. The sacrifice offerings must have boiled pig head, sticky rice tray, and flouwers and fruits. The sacreficer head shall be on behalf of the villarge people offers incents, water, alcohol, offerings and reads a wring to ask the Ginie Tan Vien Mountain for timely rains and favourable weather, abundant crops, people’s prosperity.

After the worship part comes to the festival. Bac Cung festival organizes many folk games: cock fighting, wrestle, chess, swing, and drag on, volleyball, folk singing and performances, drum roll. Local people and visitors from every corner of the country come to Bac Cung festival are numerous, about millions of people, to ask for peace and happiness. Each time Tam Hong people go far away or the young go to higher education will bring offerings to the Temple for cult for the Saint support. By its historic, cultural and spirit value is tightly connected with many aspects of the people’s life under the old Van Lang, back to more than 2,000 years, of Hung King Dynasty. Tan Vien Mountain Ginie is connected closely with the legend of Water and Mountain Ginies. As a cradle of water rice agricultural production, Bac Cung festival is not only a form of cultural and spiritual activity aiming at preserving and promoting the traditional cultural value of our country but also a valuable place for visitor to come and enjoy the community culture between the local people and the outsiders.

 

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