The Vietnamese nation was founded by
Emperor Hung Vuong nearly 50 centuries ago.
The dynasty, with 18 kings, lasted for some 3000 years and led Vietnam to
development and progress in peace. To honor the Founding Fathers, the Hung Vuong
National Altar was built in 250 BC in Phu Tho (north Vietnam), and since been one
of the most popular sites in the country. On the lunar tenth of March, tens of
thousands of Vietnamese have traditionally come to the Hung Vuong National Altar
to commemorate their ancestors. This cultural practice has only been neglected
during periods of foreign domination or severe oppression, when freedom of
expression, worship, and assembly have been restricted.
The Hung kings also pushed ahead the promotion of diplomatic ties with China in
an effort to better ensure the independence of Van Lang. (On two occasions, Hung
kings appointed ambassadorial delegations to visits of good will to China.
Chinese annals acknowledged that at one time, the Bach Viet King from the South
offered through a visiting delegation a giant turtle to Emperor Ti Yiu and at
another time a white pheasant to Emperor Tcheou Chen Kwan.
Hung kings’ outstanding achievements resulted not only in the founding of Viet
Nam of yore as a nation but also in the establishment of well- defined
institutions, administrative, social and economic which made up a civilization
of the Viets own, entirely different from that of the Chinese.
Many people beliveve that the origin of Hung kings largely remains the product
of Viet Nam’s legend. However, vestiges of the Hong Bang Dynasty such as the
Hung kings’ Temple in Phu Tho (North Viet Nam), the agricultural implements
made of stone discovered in Son Tay, Vinh Yen, Bac Giang (North Viet Nam) and
what was recorded in the Chinese Annals of the Bach Viet (100 principality)
kingdom, South China are evidences to the fact that “the Viets of the
prehistoric age did inaugurate a monarchical dynasty which lasted for 18
generations under the Hung Vuong appellation” as several Vietnamese historians
Every year, on this traditional occasion, March 10th of the Lunar calendar,
Vietnamese people worldwide join their brothers and sisters in spirit to
observe Vietnam National Day in commemoration of their ancestors. This day of
observance also promotes the restoration of Vietnam's traditional values.
The Festival lasts from the 9th to the 131h of March, with March 10 being the
main day. The festival offers an opportunity for Vietnamese to visit their land
of origin, and involves, among other things, a procession of traditional cakes
("Banh Chung", "banh day" - a rice pie...), "Xoan" folk song contest, bronze
drum beating, etc...
This picture is King Hung Temple in Vinh Phuc, Vietnam.