Together with two other common village symbols – the banyan tree and the
well – a temple is essential to the spiritual life of almost all people
in rural areas.
The village temple serves as a common
playground for kids, a place of worship for adults, and an ideal meeting
hall for village elders to impart their wisdom to youngsters.
Every village in the countryside has its own temple which provides a
venue for religious rituals and contests during traditional festivals.
The temple is also a launching pad for national patriotic movements or
acts of charity.
The temple has its front and back yards used for
communal preparations and celebrations especially during the lead-up to
the spring and Lunar New Year (Tet) holiday. It witnesses music and
dance performances, and folk games like wrestling, ball throwing, and
For centuries, the village temple has functioned as
both a communal house and a place of worship dedicated to village
founders and other notables who are seen as the source of all wisdom.
As a token of local culture, lifestyle and traditions, a typical
village temple is built on highest ground with its huge wooden pillars
resting on square stones. The temple roof is often constructed to evoke
the shape of a ship and its intricate decoration includes images of
dragons, flowers of four seasons, and human activities.
assemble at their temple on special occasions to offer incense and pray
for fair weather, happiness, prosperity, and good luck.
village temples have been preserved in good shape. Dinh Bang temple in
Bac Ninh, Hang Kenh temple in Hai Phong, and Tra Co temple in Quang Ninh
are vivid examples of original architectural styles which already
reached a high level of civilization centuries ago.-VNA