Deep in the minds of Vietnamese people, the worship of the Hung Kings has been a major cultural and religious ritual and a manifestation of great national unity. Vietnamese people at home and abroad turn their attentions to ancestral merits and honor the tradition of remembering the source of the water we drink.
The worship of the Hung Kings over thousands of years has become a symbol of national pride and a source of national power.
|Over 2.5 million go on pilgrimage to ancestral land on April 24. Photo: Phong Son
A century ago, the Nguyen dynasty adopted the 10th day of the third lunar month as the worship of the Hung Kings. The revised Labor Code in 2007 ruled that the worship of Hung Kings would became a public holiday. UNESCO recognized the Worship of Hung Kings Ritual in Phu Tho province as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Nguyen Dac Thuy, Director of Phu Tho Department of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, said, “The worship of the Hung Kings has special cultural and educational value. It educates people of national unity and community cohesion. The belief of worshiping Hung Kings encourages people to preserve and promote tradition, enhance national unity, patriotism, and other Vietnamese values.”
On worship day, Vietnamese people respectfully remember the merits of ancestors. Nguyen Van Toan from Bac Giang province attended the Hung Kings Temple Festival for the first time.
“I’ve read a lot of books about the Hung Kings and am now visiting the ancestor’s land. President Ho Chi Minh said when he visited the Hung Kings Temple: "The Hung Kings had built the country. You and I must work together to safeguard it.” Vietnamese people must visit this place once in a lifetime,” he said.
Nowhere in the world does an entire nation worship ancestors in a single day like Vietnam. Vietnamese expats in many European countries have launched the “Vietnam Ancestral Global Day” to commemorate the Hung Kings.
Mr. Thuy said, “We appreciate the initiative. With the spirit of great national unity, overseas Vietnamese who are an indispensible part of the nation can practice the worship of the Hung Kings in their countries of residence.”
The worship of the Hung Kings is forever a symbol of national unity and a lesson of all people working together for equality, humanity, responsibility, national defense and construction.VOVWorld