| A palanquin procession to the Hung Kings Temple is an indispensable ritual of the death anniversary of the Hung Kings (the 10th day of the 3rd lunar month), Vietnam’s legendary founders.
Phu Tho is the only locality in Vietnam with 2 UNESCO-recognized intangible cultural heritages of humanity. They are the Hung Kings worship and Xoan singing. The death anniversary of the Hung Kings, the worship of the Hung Kings, the Hung King Temple Festival, and Xoan singing attract many domestic and foreign visitors.
Phu Tho has promulgated many policies and measures to preserve and promote its traditional culture. The provincial authorities have called on all of Vietnam to safeguard Phu Tho’s tangible cultural heritages. Millions of USD from the national target programs, the provincial budget, and Vietnam’s social capital are invested to maintain, repair, and restore cultural and historical heritage sites.
Many traditional cultural activities have been restored and promoted as living cultural symbols.
Nguyen Dac Thuy, Director of the provincial Culture, Sports, and Tourism Department, said many festivals are annually organized to demonstrate the local folk culture.
“This year Viet Tri city has created models based on legends about the Hung Kings era. These are stories about Mai An Tiem, the watermelon prince, the Hung Kings teaching people to plant rice seedlings and legends about Son Tinh (the Mountain Spirit) and Thuy Tinh (the Sea Spirit),” Thuy elaborated.
Mr. Nguyen Van Quyet, leader Kim Dai Xoan guild, is teaching young people how to sing and dance Xoan. (Photo: Phu Tho Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, 2016)
“UNESCO’s recognition of Phu Tho’s intangible cultural heritages has inspired the community to conserve and promote their heritage. We are working with original Xoan singing villages to revive their heritage sustainably and encourage experienced Xoan artists to train the younger generation,” said Ha Ke San, Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee.
In addition to communications promoting Xoan singing and the teaching of Xoan singing, Phu Tho is bringing Xoan singing into schools, and publishing books and CDs, and opening training courses for teachers.
Phu Tho has 345 relics related to the Hung Kings, 30 relics related to Xoan singing, and 5 national intangible cultural heritages.