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Book on village saints published

Book on village saints published

HÀ NỘI — The National Political Publishing House has just released a new book featuring profound studies on legends of 130 village saints in Thăng Long – Hà Nội.

Titled Sự Tích Các Thành Hoàng Làng Thăng Long – Hà Nội (Legends on Village Saints in Thăng Long – Hà Nội), the book was edited by Prof Đỗ Thị Hảo, deputy chairperson of Hà Nội Folk Arts & Literature Association, together with 50 researchers based on archives, collected materials and real field trips to historical and cultural relic sites in Hà Nội.

Locals in Triều Khuc Village in today’s Thanh Trì District, Hà Nội in a palanquin procession dedicated to the village saint – Bố Cái Đại Vương Phùng Hưng (761-802 AD), who led the national army to fight against northern invaders to bring peace to people. The village hosts an annual festival on the 9th-12th of the first lunar month to commemorate the saint and offer entertainment to locals. — File Photo

In 480 pages, various customs concerning village saints, who have been worshipped at communal houses and temples in villages around the ancient Thăng Long Citadel, are described. The saints might be heroes fighting against invaders, pioneers claiming new lands, and people who taught villagers new handicrafts to earn a living.

The stories have been written with vivid and familiar examples, which will provide readers with deep knowledge on Hà Nội’s land and people throughout its thousand-year-history, according to the book’s introduction.

The book is published to help preserve and develop cultural heritage, as localities still worship saints but keep few documents on them, Hảo said.

“Locals rarely know their village saint, what they have done for the people, or how the worship ceremony or village festival is conducted,” she said.

“The book is also useful for researchers on the citadel and Việt Nam,” she added.

The book is in Vietnamese and priced at VNĐ198,000 (US$8.5) at bookstores and online. — VNS

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