Around 40,000 visitors made the pilgrimage to Huong Pagoda in Hanoi’s My Duc district on January 30, the sixth day of the Lunar New Year, to attend the opening of the longest running festival in the country.
Around 40,000 visitors made the pilgrimage to Huong Pagoda in Hanoi’s My Duc district on January 30.
The pagoda has welcomed 200,000 visitors from the beginning of the Lunar New Year, according to the festival organising board.
Local authorities have mobilised staff to ensure security and safety during the festival to stop scammers and pickpockets.
A hotline has also been opened to handle complaints from tourists.
The same day, thousands of people flocked to the Saint Giong Festival at Soc Son Temple in the city’s Soc Son district.
This year, the festival is expected to welcome around 1.2 million visitors.
The festival, taking place from the sixth day to the eighth day of the first lunar month, aims to honour the legendary hero Giong, who is known as one of the Four Immortals of Vietnam along with Tan Vien, Chu Dong Tu and the Mother Goddess Lieu Hanh.
Legend has it Saint Giong was born after his mother walked in the footsteps of a giant. At the age of three, Giong suddenly transformed into a giant and fought foreign invaders. The king then presented Giong with an iron horse, which promptly chased the invaders out of the country.
After triumphing, he and his horse went to Soc Mountain in Soc Son District. It is said that from the top of the mountain, he removed his armour and flew into the sky on his steed. Giong is also widely worshipped as “the patron god of the harvest, national peace and family prosperity”.
The Saint Giong Festival was recognised as a world intangible cultural heritage of humanity by UNESCO in 2010.
A wide range of activities are being held during the festival, such as love duets, wrestling and traditional games./.VNA