The Hung Kings’ Festival is an occasion celebrated from day 8 to day 11 of the third lunar month in Vietnam. This year, it takes place from April 18 to 18. Even though the festivities go on throughout the week, the main festival day is a public holiday, and of course, the one celebrated with the most energy. On this day, people of all ages step out to enjoy, dance, eat, and also commemorate several cultural customs of Vietnam. This is essential to mark the death anniversary of the Hung Kings. Do you have anything special planned for the festival? Well, why not visit Vietnam?
History of Hung Kings Festival
Hung Kings have a rich history in Vietnam, and are recognized as one of the main forces that established the country as a sovereign nation. The 18 generation of kings is responsible for giving the nation a distinct identity and sowing the seeds of patriotism. They ruled the land from 2879 B.C. to 258 B.C.
According to folklore, it is said that the Hung King, Lac Long Quan, was the son of a dragon from the ocean and had superhuman strength. When he succeeded the throne and decided to get married as the next natural step, a strange occurrence happened. His wife Au Co, a fairy who resided on earth, became pregnant and gave birth to a membranous sac.
The sac continued to grow for seven days before it exploded. Out emerged 100 eggs that hatched 100 babies! It is also believed that the children of Lac Long Quan and Au Co were the ancestors of Vietnam. Hence, the Vietnamese are known as ‘Dragon and Fairy descendants.’ The Hung Kings are the ones who taught locals how to grow wet rice and gave way to several religious and cultural traditions. This includes the rituals that are performed at Nghia Linh Mountain to pray for good harvests.
While the official name of the festival is Death Anniversary of the Hung Kings, none of the kings actually died on those dates. The festival merely aims to honor all the contributions the kings made to the success of Vietnam. Every year, the festival is celebrated by holding offerings at over 1,400 Hung Kings temples across Vietnam.
Hung Kings Festival timeline
Vietnam becomes the official name of the country during the Nguyen dynasty.
France imposes a colonial system over Vietnam — it is called French Indochina.
Ho Chi Minh establishes the Indochinese Communist Party.
The United States and Vietnam resume diplomatic relations.
Hung Kings Festival FAQs
What sports do they play in Vietnam?
Soccer is the most popular sport in Vietnam. Even the kids play informal games on the streets and in parks.
Is Vietnam still communist?
Vietnam is one of just five communist countries remaining in the world. It is a socialist republic with a one-party system led by the Communist Party.
Is Vietnam a U.S. ally?
Yes. Even though the two had a rocky past, Vietnam is a United States ally today.
Hung Kings Festival Activities
To really enjoy the festival, dance the entire day away with family or friends. You could start with hosting a small dinner at home and then take the party elsewhere. The aim is to relax and enjoy the culture.
Give a performance
Are you interested in narrating the story of the Hung Kings to those around you? Hold auditions and put up a small theater play. This will be especially beneficial for the kids.
Plan a trip
Are you currently living outside Vietnam? Well, this is the perfect time to plan a trip. Not only will you get to meet a lot of new people, but you will also experience a unique culture with exquisite traditions.
5 Facts About Vietnam You Need To Know
Exporting cashew nuts and black pepper
The nation exported 348,000 tons of cashew nuts and 180,000 tons of black peppers in 2016.
Snake wine for health
People in Vietnam drink ruou ran, a snake wine said to have medicinal and vitality purposes.
The world's highest motorcycle ownership rates
Vietnam is known for its high number of registered motorbikes, with over 45 million of them.
The world's largest cave
Being about 5.8 miles long, the largest cave in the world, Hang Son Doong, is in Vietnam.
One in every three people in Vietnam, or 40% of the population, has Nguyen as their family name.
Why We Love Hung Kings Festival
We love the day because it provides a long detailed history of the life of the Hung Kings, their importance in Vietnam, and how they changed the country. The festival is also very cultural.
It brings in tourists
The festival is all about the culture and history of Vietnam. It manages to pull in a lot of tourists who yearn to witness exquisite cultures and traditions across the globe.
It increases income
The Hung Kings’ Festival manages to attract a huge crowd, whether it is from inside the country or outside. This leads to an increase in the revenue of several businesses, such as eateries, malls, e.t.c.
Hung Kings Festival dates