Trang An River a riot of color for two-day festival

By Ngoc Thanh    April 22, 2019 | 03:46 pm GMT+7

Around 20,000 people joined the Trang An festival to watch a riverine procession and other festivities in Ninh Binh. 

Trang An River a riot of color for two-day festival

The Trang An Festival was celebrated on April 21-21 in the famous eponymous landscape complex in the northern province of Ninh Binh.

It featured water, dragon and palanquin processions on the river in a ritual that expressed gratitude to ancestors, especially Quy Minh Dai Vuong, a hero who maintained peace and protected the country.

This year’s festival was themed "The essence of the rocky citadel". Ninh Binh Province used to be the nation’s citadel under the Dinh dynasty (968-980).

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Starting early morning Sunday, hundreds of boats carried visitors and officials participating in the procession from the local wharf to the Tien stream, where the festival rituals were held.

About 20,000 people visited the Trang An Landscape Complex for the festival, said Bui Van Manh, deputy head of Ninh Binh Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

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Two dragons led the 12km long procession on the Trang An River.

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Dozens of boats with man and women dressed in the attire of yesteryear soldiers carried ritual flags that they waved to the beat of drums.

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On the banks of the river, the Muong ethnic minority group from Hoa Binh Province played the gong.

The festivities included ca tru (ancient Vietnamese chamber music), cheo (Vietnamese musical theatre) and chau van (Vietnamese ritual singing), local cultural traditions. The festival also included cultural elements and performances from other northern provinces like Ha Giang, Bac Kan and Hoa Binh.

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Several caves in the complex hosted short skits representing the life of people in the Van Lang era, an early nation state of the Vietnamese people that lasted from 7th to 3rd century B.C.

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The procession passes an intersection on the river in the Trang An Landscape Complex.

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The master of rituals was a respected elder, who read the writings to ask permission for the water procession to ensue. Two women wearing the traditional ao dai ladled water from the into a jar that was carried on a palanquin to the temple where kinds of the Dinh dynasty are deified.

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The festival and its rituals pray for peace in the country and for good weather, good harvest, and a good life for all people.

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Monks and Buddhists joined the water offering ceremony.

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The final ritual was the offering ceremony, for which people were dressed in traditional regalia.

 
 
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