Hang Pagoda Festival
The festival is held on the 15th of Lunar January every year at Pagoda Cave and Hang pagoda in A Dong hamlet, Yen Tri commune, Yen Thuy district.
The festival is held on the 15th of Lunar January every year at Pagoda Cave and Hang pagoda in A Dong hamlet, Yen Tri commune, Yen Thuy district. In this region, a mountain named Lang Tieu stands in splendid isolation in which there is Van Quang cave and two pagodas called Hang pagoda together (Also known as Thanh Lam pagoda).
Photo : phatgiao.gov.vn
From Van Quang cave’s mouth, following the stone steps then tourists can see a wooden pagoda with its roof tiled. The first pagoda is sophisticatedly carved in the Nguyen Dynasty’s style and the next pagoda is approximately 20 stone steps’ walk away. The latter features numerous stalactites and stalagmites in various sizes and shapes. In 1994, this pagoda was ranked by the Vietnam Ministry of Culture, sports and tourism. Both pagodas were built to have a religious function, mostly for worshiping Buddha and the God of Land.
Because the cave has 3 mouths, when people do the ritualistic act of worship, there must be 9 trays of offerings, each of which includes a boiling chicken, a plate of sticky rice and fruits. Annually, on the 15th of Lunar January the pagoda draws large number of pilgrims from every corner of the country coming to purify and pray to Buddha and other Gods for support and a lucky and prosperous New Year. It is spiritually believed that making offerings the whole year is not as effective as doing on this day; therefore during the festival, the pagoda is always crowded.
Apart from the rituals in the pagoda, many recreational activities and art performances are held to serve both local peoples and visitors. The activities are brimmed with wealthy characteristics and its performing forms are very lively. Here attendants can participate in both traditional games like walking on stilts, dragging, etc and modern activities such as soccer, volleyball and music performance.
Because of the historical and geographical situation, Hoa Binh’s festivals have certain distinctive traits.
Xuong Dong - or Getting down to the farm- festival in some respects shares similarities to Long Tong festival of Tay-Nung ethnic groups. The main purpose of the celebration is to spray for good harvests, favorable weather and full lives.