Hung Kings Temple Festival: Honoring Vietnam’s Legendary Founders with Rituals, Culture, and Community Unity

The Hung Kings Temple Festival is one of Vietnam’s most important and revered celebrations, honoring the Hung Kings, who are considered the legendary founders of the nation. Celebrated predominantly in Phu Tho Province, the festival is a profound expression of national pride, cultural heritage, and ancestral veneration. It includes various rituals, cultural activities, and community gatherings, all aimed at paying homage to the Hung Kings and reinforcing Vietnamese identity. Let’s explore the rich tapestry of the Hung Kings Temple Festival and understand its significance in the cultural and spiritual life of Vietnam.

Historical Background

The Hung Kings are mythical figures in Vietnamese history, believed to have ruled during the Hong Bang period. They are credited with laying the foundations of the nation and instilling values of unity, resilience, and integrity.

The Hung Kings Temple

The Hung Kings Temple, located in Phu Tho Province, is the central site for the festival. It consists of several temples and altars dedicated to the Hung Kings and their contributions.

Rituals and Ceremonies

The Hung Kings Temple Festival is marked by solemn rituals and ceremonies, reflecting deep respect and gratitude.

Ancestral Procession

A grand procession is organized, where palanquins carrying ancestral tablets are paraded from the foot of Nghia Linh Mountain to the Hung Kings Temple.

Offering Ceremony

A key part of the festival is the offering ceremony, where traditional offerings such as incense, flowers, fruits, and traditional dishes like Banh Chung (sticky rice cake) are presented.

Prayers and Blessings

Prayers and blessings are conducted by priests and local dignitaries, seeking guidance, prosperity, and protection from the Hung Kings.

Cultural Activities

The festival is also a vibrant showcase of Vietnamese culture, art, and community spirit.

Traditional Music and Dance

Traditional music and dance performances are held, including drumming, lion dances, and folk songs, adding color and excitement to the celebrations.

Martial Arts Demonstrations

Martial arts demonstrations and competitions are organized, reflecting Vietnam’s rich martial arts heritage and the valor of the Hung Kings.

Culinary Delights

Local culinary delights are prepared and enjoyed, with food stalls offering regional specialties, allowing visitors to savor the flavors of Vietnamese cuisine.

Community Participation

The Hung Kings Temple Festival is a community event, drawing participants and visitors from across Vietnam and even overseas.


Many Vietnamese consider it a sacred duty to make a pilgrimage to the Hung Kings Temple during the festival, reflecting a deep spiritual connection.

Family Gatherings

Families often attend the festival together, strengthening family bonds and passing on cultural values to the younger generation.

Educational Activities

Educational activities, workshops, and exhibitions may be organized to educate the public about the history, legends, and cultural significance of the Hung Kings.

National Recognition

The Hung Kings Temple Festival is not just a local event; it has national significance and recognition.

Public Holiday

The festival is marked by a public holiday in Vietnam, allowing people across the country to participate in or organize local celebrations.

UNESCO Recognition

The worship of the Hung Kings has been recognized by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage, highlighting its importance in preserving cultural identity.


The Hung Kings Temple Festival is more than just a celebration; it’s a living testament to Vietnam’s rich history, cultural pride, and spiritual depth. It’s a festival that transcends time and space, connecting the present with the legendary past, the individual with the community, and the earthly with the divine.

From the solemnity of ancestral processions to the joy of cultural performances, from the reverence of temple rituals to the warmth of family gatherings, the Hung Kings Temple Festival is a multifaceted experience that resonates with the soul of Vietnam.

It’s a festival that invites us to reflect on our roots, to honor our heritage, and to celebrate our collective identity. It’s a reminder that legends are not just stories of the past but guiding lights for the present and the future. In honoring the Hung Kings, we honor ourselves, our values, and our unbreakable connection to a land that is not just a place but a feeling, a memory, and a promise. It’s a celebration that is uniquely Vietnamese, yet universal in its message of respect, unity, and the eternal dance of tradition and continuity.