Located on Nghia Linh mountain, (about 100km away from Hanoi city), the Hung King Temple is a solemn relic complex of Phu Tho province, and also one of the most tourist attraction in northern Vietnam. Every year, when the third lunar month comes, all Vietnamese citizens head for the Temple in commemoration of Hung kings whose regime was an impressive, brilliant and outstanding start for establishing Vietnam as a sovereign nation. Therefore, it’s considered as national festival of Vietnam.
Normally, the festival is taken place annually from 8th to 11th day but the 10th day is the exact death anniversary of Hung King. During the festival, you will encounter many folk games such as “danh du” (bamboo swings), “nem con” (game of throwing a sacred ball through the ring), rice cooking competitions, lion dance, human chess, water puppet performance, wrestling, crossbow shooting, etc. All folk games contribute a bustling ambiance to the festival and attract participation of various people. Besides, “xoan” singing and “gheo” singing are also performed at the festival by local residents with the participation of up to about 40 villages. After that, a solemn national ceremony is held with incense-offering liturgy. Governmental leaders will lead the procession up to Upper Temple (Den Thuong) – the highest temple of King Hung Temple Complex on Nghia Linh Mountain. Sacrifice involves five-fruit trays, specialties from all regions in the country and indispensably a couple of “chung” cakes and “day” cakes, which are two traditional foods of Vietnam.
Nowadays, even if you arrive at Hung King Temple not in the festival time, you can still have many opportunities to contemplate the others attractive destinations below:
Hung King tomb: Legend has it that is the tomb of Hung King 6th in the time of Saint Giong fighting against the An enemies.
Ðền Hạ (Lower Temple): Den Ha is on the left side of Hung Mountain. You will need to trek about 225 stone stairs to climb up to Den Ha and Thien Quang Tu pagoda. The temple was built in century 15th attached to the legend of Mother Au Co gave birth to 100 children. There is a cycad tree planted by President Ho Chi Minh on the occasion of his visiting to Hung Kinh temple in 1954.
Ðền Trung (Middle Temple): Let’s climb up more 168 stone stairs to arrive at Den Trung. According to legend, many generations of Hung King chose this place as a meeting with their mandarin and relax. This is also the place where Lang Lieu prince presented his “chung cake” and “day cake” to his father on the Tet’s festival.
Ðền Thượng (Upper Temple): the last 102 stone stairs upward would let you reach the highest temple. This place was used to worship the God, Mother Nature, Mountain Saint, Rice Saint, etc
Ðền Giếng temple: This Den Gieng has a special well named Ngoc. The water in the well is so clean and clear that you can find yourself as in front of the mirror. Thousands years ago, the princess Tien Dung (daughter of Hung Kinh 18th generation) often combed her beautiful long hair at this well.
Today, Hung Vuong Museum has been built up near the Hung mountain foot to serve the tourists all over the country. You will find many interesting things in this museum like: objects in the old times when Hung King established the country, other objects in the Stone Age, Bronze Age, and Iron Age.