The Giong competition is organized in Phu Dong village, Gia Lam district, Hanoi, every year on the ninth day of the 4th month of the lunar calendar. The date commemorates Saint Giong who defeated An invaders.
The target is that expresses their gratitude to the hero of Giong Village, who sacrificed his life to battle the invaders, people have proclaimed Saint Giong. Preparation for the festival happens from the first day of the third month to the fifth day of the fourth month of the lunar calendar. The festival is hold from the 6th to 12th of the 4th lunar month with a series of processions, rituals and performances, takes place on a specific day. On the 6th, there's a ceremony of bringing water from the well at the Mother Temple to the Upper Temple. On the 7th, flags are carried to the Mother Temple. On an equivalent day offerings of boiled rice and salted egg-plants also are carried to the Upper Temple, a apply that commemorates the agricultural meals of early times. Another vestige of old times happens at midnight on this day when young men and women run when each other on the dyke of the Red River . On the seventh day, a water puppet performance is held in front of the Phu Dong Temple. On the eighth day, 28 women are selected to feature the generals of the An invaders. The main day of the festival is the ninth of the fourth lunar month. On this day, flags are carried from the Mother Temple to the Upper Temple and sacrifices are created to the genie. The guilds perform ritual dances and songs and there's a tiger catching show. Fighting against the Yin invaders is re-enacted and there's a solemn march of the Van Lang army. Finally, 2 battles against the invaders at Dong Dam and Soi Bia are symbolised by flag dances and victorious feasts. On the tenth day the "troops" are reviewed and therefore the invader-generals, when "being defeated", provide offerings to Giong. On the eleventh, the ceremony of cleaning and washing weapons with holy water takes place. On the twelfth, a procession goes to examine the battlefield. On this day of the festival, tribute is given to the gods of heaven and earth. At the Giong festival, people will create connections with their neighborhood, with relations between the people in a community, and with with the past and present. This festival mingles with the traditions of affection for the motherland and the preservation of cultural heritage.
VietNamNet/Viet Nam News
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