Appeared in the first time since Hung Kings dynasty when all Vietnamese people believe that they are “dragon’s children and fairy’s grand-children”, the worship of Hung Kings has been taken place to show Vietnamese’s concept “When drinking water, remember the source” and spirit of national solidarity.
Based on forefathers’ story, Lac Long Quan – son of King Duong Vuong Loc Tuc got married with Au Co – daughter of King De Lai then they had 100 children. Afterward, they were divided into 2 groups to follow their parents to settle in the mountain and the sea. Au Co took 50 children to Phong Chau Land (Phu Tho Province nowadays) and founded Van Lang Nation – the first nation in Vietnamese history and became the first King Hung. Here, Hung Kings taught local people to plant rice and raise domestic animals. They also chose the highest mountain in the region named Nghia Linh to organize traditional rituals and ceremonies to worship rice god and sun god for good weather and good harvests. To express the gratefulness to Hung Kings’ merit, Vietnamese people built a temple at the centre of Nghia Linh Mountain and took the 10th day of the third month based on Lunar Calendar as Ancestral Anniversary day. Nowadays, the worship of Hung Kings has expanded throughout every region of Vietnam and even had a profoundly religious influence to Vietnamese overseas.

Worship of Hung Kings in Phu Tho Province

Worship of Hung Kings in Phu Tho Province

In the past, the worship of Hung Kings was strongly developed for a long time before officially recognized in the Le (1428 – 1788), Tay Son (1788 – 1802) and Nguyen (1802 – 1945) dynasties. Nowadays, it was preserved by Government and local authorities with a sustainable budget to maintain the place, traditional rituals and ceremonies at Hung Kings Temple Relic Site and to support the role of local people.
The worship of Hung Kings has many different forms with the joint worship of many other characters such as princess Tien Dung and Ngoc Hoa; Saint Tan Vien; Trung Trac and Trung Nhi, etc. in Hung Kings Temple Relic Site in Phu Tho Province. Besides, temples in Hanoi, Thai Binh, Hai Duong and Thanh Hoa, etc. also are jointly worshiped with Long Hai Dai Vuong, Phu Dong Thien Vuong, Mai An Tiem and Chu Dong Tu, etc. In many regions, there is appearance of family’s altar in Hung Kings.

Hung King Festival on March 10th - Lunar Calendar

Hung King Festival on March 10th – Lunar Calendar

Ancestral Anniversary day is taken place annually on the 10th of the third lunar month in every Hung Kings temples in Vietnam. In Hung Kings Temple Relic Site of Phu Tho Province, there are 6 – 9 adults chosen and gathered into a Festival Organizing Board (Ban Khanh Tiet) to lead and manage the rituals in each village. These people must have knowledge and wisdom to take in charge of this important mission.
On official days of the festival, local people will offer square cakes (banh chung) and glutinous cakes (banh giay) to the Hung Temple. In addition, they also organize performances including reading petitions, praying, bronze drum beating and Xoan singing.
With its unique and outstanding cultural and historical values, the worship of Hung Kings in Phu Tho Province was listed as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 6 December 2012 in Paris (France).