Phu Tho festival pays tribute to legendary king’s contributions to farming

Tuesday, 2019-02-19 15:50:32
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The re-enactment of a Hung King's teaching local residents how to cultivate rice. (Photo: NDO/Ngoc Long)
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NDO - A festival opened in the northern province of Phu Tho on February 19 to commemorate the Hung Kings, Vietnam’s legendary founders, who were said to have taught farming to the local residents.

The festival begins with rituals to make offerings to the God of Farming and the Hung Kings, followed by a re-enactment of the Hung Kings teaching the people how to cultivate rice.

After the rituals were celebratory activities, including a rice seedling transplantation contest and folk games with the participation of local residents and visitors.

Legend has it that in the past, the people did not know how to plough the fields and grow rice but relied on tree roots, wild vegetables and the meat of hunted animals for food.

One day, a bird dropped an ear of rice on the hair of a princess, who later reported to his father, a Hung King. Seeing it as a good omen, he ordered his princesses to collect the ears of rice from the fields back home.

When spring arrived, the king went to fields, used a stick to pierce a hole on the ground and filled it with rice grains. When the seedlings grew, the king pulled them up, took them to another field and transplanted them. Then the princesses and local people followed him.

Later on, the people honoured the Hung Kings as the ancestors of farming and put up a temple dedicated to them.