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Intangible Cultural Heritage Du Yen Temple Festival

In November 2023, the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism issued a Decision recognizing Du Yen Temple Festival in Chi Tien commune, Thanh Ba district as a National Intangible Cultural Heritage; recognizes local efforts in preserving and promoting heritage values; is an important driving force for Thanh Ba to continue building a rich culture, improving people’s spiritual lives and creating new vitality for the new rural district.

Intangible Cultural Heritage Du Yen Temple Festival

Fairy dance during the Du Yen Temple Festival.

Thanh Ba has retained the imprint of the nation’s early dawn over thousands of years of history, from the time King Hung created the country to the present. The district has 19 historical and cultural artifacts, including two national relics (Du Yen Temple in Chi Tien commune, and Mao Pho Temple - Communal house in Luong Lo commune) and 17 provincial relics. Every year, 17 events take place. The most unusual is the Du Yen Temple Festival in Chi Tien commune.

Du Yen Temple, also known as Mother Temple, is located in Bong Chau Thuong, which is currently part of Chi Tien commune’s area 2. The shrine honors female commander Nguyen Thi Hanh, a skilled general from the Trung Sisters Dynasty who helped Trung Sisters defeated Han army. The Ministry of Culture and Information (now the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism) designated as a National Architectural and Artistic Monument in 1993.

Intangible Cultural Heritage Du Yen Temple Festival

The National Mother Palanquin Procession.

Despite various changes in history over the last approximately 2,000 years, Chi Tien people have continued to follow the king’s ordination, honoring the National Mother Dai Vuong (ordained Mrs. Nguyen Thi Hanh during the reign of King Le Hien Tong) with several feasts throughout the year. The most common occurs during the full moon of January, which draws a great number of people and visitors from all over. That community cultural event evolved into a major festival of the Chi Tien people in particular, Thanh Ba district, and Phu Tho province in general, to commemorate ancestors' great contributions while also teaching traditions patriotism, morality when drinking water, and remembering the source for future generations.

The Du Yen Temple festivity is celebrated solemnly in both ceremony and festivity. The ritual is divided into five parts: water procession, moc duc ceremony, report ceremony, palanquin procession, incense offering ceremony, and deity sacrifice. The celebration was cut short by the French resistance war. Peace was restored, and the event, the Mother Goddess Procession, was entirely restored, conserved, and passed down to this day, becoming a cultural landmark of Thanh Ba district. The fairy dance is particularly noteworthy. Fairy dancing originated as sinh tien dance, which extremely widespread at many village festival in the ancestral land. However, the fairy wing dance is uncommon in many locations, making it a quite distinctive and intriguing kind of folk art in Chi Tien and Thanh Ba. The event features a variety of activities such as the Banh Giay pounding competition, art performances, shrimp nests, cockfighting, men’s and women’s volleyball, and Chinese chess.

Always identify culture as the spiritual underpinning of society, and be profoundly conscious of the significance of cultural heritage and festivals in people’s life; The Thanh Ba district’s Party Committee, administration, and people have immediately adopted a number of particular steps to promote the legacy. When Du Yen Temple was designated a National Historical and Cultural Relic, the relic land area was carefully designed and completely renovated. By 2023, the Temple will be redesigned and expanded to satisfy the people’s cultural demands. The task of repairing and performing the Du Yen Temple festival is always prioritized, and attention is made to conserve everything from the traditional ritual to the festival’s new activities, with the slogan “taking the people as the center, is the subject” and “turning heritage into assets”. As a result, legacy gains fresh vigor, ensuring that it will endure and expand indefinitely.

Intangible Cultural Heritage Du Yen Temple Festival

The fairy dance company and palanquin procession travel to the river wharf to carry out the rite.

As a result, in recent years, the Du Yen Temple Festival has attracted the interest and involvement of a significant number of people and visitors from all around. Since the beginning of January, locals have been busy preparing supplies and practicing pounding banh giay; practicing sports, culture, and arts with traditional songs, dances, Xoan singing... in order to participate in the festival’s events and compete with other units around the district. Every spring, the Du Yen Temple Festival has established itself as a prominent cultural event in Chi Tien commune and Thanh Ba district as a whole.

The recognition of the Du Yen Temple Festival as a National Intangible Cultural Heritage is an extremely deserving honor and recognition for the local Party’s and government’s determination and efforts; the silent and persistent efforts of local people in preserving and promoting the value of heritage; and the promotion of the responsibility of transmitting heritage between generations and practicing heritage in contemporary life. In addition, contributing to the improvement of people’s material and spiritual lives in accordance with the spirit of the 26th Thanh Ba District Party Congress Resolution, term 2020-2025.

Thanh Ba district was honored to receive the First Class Labor Medal and the decision to designate the district as reaching New Rural criteria, thanks to the Party, government, and people’s cooperation and togetherness. Thanh Ba has evolved from a tough area to a key district with established industry and services, harmonious and sustained economic growth, and a strong cultural identity. Along with political, economic, and national security and defense development policies, paying attention to and investing properly in cultural activities, particularly promoting traditional cultural values and integrating with contemporary life, has helped Thanh Ba district “change its skin” day by day, resulting in a new look and vitality.

Nguyen Chi Thanh

Deputy Secretary of Thanh Ba District Party Committee; Chairman of Thanh Ba District People's Committee



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