Modern-traditional complex celebrates Hung Kings in southern Vietnam

By Quynh Tran, Huu Khoa    April 14, 2019 | 10:18 pm GMT+7

The complex, standing atop a hillock amidst a 400 hectare national park, hosts a major Hung Kings commemoration festival every year.

Modern-traditional complex celebrates Hung Kings in southern Vietnam

It is part of the National Park of Cultural History in Long Binh Commune, District 9, about 30 kilometers from downtown HCMC. The complex, completed in 2009, has four main parts - a square, a bamboo road, a temple and a courtyard.

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Vietnamese celebrate the commemoration day of the Hung Kings (2879-258 BCE), the nation's mythical founders, on the 10th of the third lunar month every year.

A ceremony was held early Sunday morning in this complex, including a palanquin procession with offerings of incense, fruit trays, wine, and banh chung (traditional sticky rice cake).

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Many people visit the place to offer incense to the nation’s ancestors.

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Right at the entrance to the Hung Kings Temple is a 4,000 sq.m square. Etched on the surface of the square is the image of the sun, similar to the one found on the Dong Son drum. A Dong Son drum is a bronze drum fabricated by the Dong Son culture in the Red River Delta of northern Vietnam, from about 600 BCE or earlier until the third century CE.

On both sides of the square stand 9 stone columns 6 meters high each, symbolizing the 18 generations of Hung Kings.

The Hung Kings Temple in Ho Chi Minh City symbolizes harmony between heaven and earth.

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A 360 meter long path with 107 steps connects the square and the temple.

Bamboo has been planted along the 10-meter wide path which runs up the slope of the hill to reach the temple at the top. It also has a structure that accommodates stone steles carved with praise for ancestors and the proud traditions of Vietnamese people.

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Two parallel sets of stairs lead to the temple commemorating the Hung Kings.

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The temple has a square shape, rotating at an angle of 45 degrees to the main axis of the whole complex. It consists of three sections - the ceremony hall, the festival hall and a viewing courtyard.

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The main shrine of the temple worships the Hung Kings, Father Lac Long Quan, Mother Au Co, Earth and Water. On either side of the shrine are eight worshiping chambers for other important figures in Vietnamese history.

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Along the two walls of the temple are corridors displaying 33 stone blocks from the Spratly Archipelago (Truong Sa).

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Paintings and patterns of the Hung Kings era form the backdrop to the rocks.

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The festival hall on the first floor of the temple is built mainly with stones, exhibiting contemporary architectural features.

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The circle and square area in the middle of the yard represent heaven and earth. A temple with a two-layer roof stands in the center. There are 54 stone columns in the yard, symbolizing 54 ethnicities in Vietnam.

 
 
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