The Con Son-Kiep Bac 2013 Spring Festival opened at Con Son pagoda in
the northern province of Hai Duong on February 25 (the 16 th day of the
first lunar month).
The opening ceremony was attended
by Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Dang Thi Bich Lien,
Permanent Vice President of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha’s Executive
Council Most Venerable Thich Thanh Nhieu, and leaders of Hai Duong
province and other localities in the region.
festival is the first of the four major activities to be launched in
Hai Duong province to mark the 2013 National Tourism Year of the Red
River-Hai Phong. It aims to commemorate the 679 th anniversary of the
death of monk Huyen Quang, the third founder of the Truc Lam Zen sect.
Taking place from February 23-26, the festival features a broad range
of cultural and sporting activities such as incense offering rituals,
worshipping rituals on the Ngu Nhac Mountain, a Chung cake (square
glutinous rice cake) and Day cake (round glutinous rice cake) making
contest, wrestling, calligraphy and Quan Ho (love duets) singing.
From the 15th to 20th day of the eighth lunar month, the Autumn
Festival will be held at Kiep Bac Temple to commemorate national hero
Tran Hung Dao, who made great contributions in the fight against
Yuan-Mongol invaders from the north in the 13 th century.
Covering a total area of eight hectares in Chi Linh district, the Con
Son-Kiep Bac historical site is entwined with the lives and causes of
Tran Hung Dao and the Great Man of Culture of the World, Nguyen Trai.
The site was a defence line built at the end of the 13th century to
protect the Thang Long Imperial Citadel. It witnessed important battles
between the Tran dynasty army and the Yuan-Mongol invaders.
Son, surrounded by pine trees, saw the pure and upright life of Nguyen
Trai (1380-1442), one of Vietnam ‘s most famous poets and writers.
Con Son-Kiep Bac was recognised as a national heritage site in 1962 and
a special national heritage site in 2012. The same year, the Ministry
of Culture, Sports and Tourism awarded the Spring Festival the title of
national intangible cultural heritage.-VNA