Chu Dong Tu–Tien Dung Love Festival

A group of women in beautiful pink dresses holds a dragon palanquin, where there is a jar inside. The procession moves slowly from the sacred temple towards the Red River.

Nom Pagoda,Pho Hien,Hung Yen travel,da trach temple
Da Trach Temple

It is a long dancing dragon created by 30 young men, which leads the procession, followed by thousands of people from five communes in Khoai Chau district in Hung Yen province.

When reaching the river bank, the people go onto a boat. In the middle of the river, two older men drop two circles into the river. Another older man used a red-lacquered dipper to scoop water out of the river into the jar.

The water jar is carried ashore. Only when the water jar is put on the altar can the organization board open the Chu Dong Tu Festival - one of the 16 biggest festivals in Vietnam.

Nom Pagoda,Pho Hien,Hung Yen travel,da trach temple

Da Trach Temple

Chu Dong Tu Festival is organized for three days from the 10th to the 12th day of the second lunar month.

This unique ritual is derived from the immortal love between the poor fisherman Chu Dong Tu and Princess Tien Dung.

In the place where they met in ancient times, people set up the Da Hoa Temple in Binh Minh commune in Khoai Chau district, and Da Trach Temple in Da Trach commune in the same district.Chu Dong Tu is one of the four immortals in traditional mythology of Vietnam, who is in charge of teaching people how to do business, and how to fish and weave.

Like any other temple in Vietnam, the Chu Dong Tu Temple’s courtyard is covered with white plumeria flower. It is so peaceful inside the temple that even when women sit and talk on the yard, they won’t disturb the tranquility of the space.

Le Xuan Cu, the temple janitor, said the temple is special because it contains a hat and a stick of the Saint. Visitors to the temple not only enjoy the landscape, but also pray for good luck and good business.

The land attracts visitors with green river, green longan growing area and white sand alluvial ranges. The trees of the temple, the ancient ones, were selected to affirm human immortality.

Nom Pagoda, which keeps the ancient look of thousands of generations

Like other temples and pagodas in Vietnam, the history of the Nom pagoda, also known as "Linh Thong Co Tu", one of the most famous pagodas in the North, begins with a legend.

On a night of heavy rain and storm in Van Lam district, in Hung Yen province, there was a raft of ironwood floating on the river that eventually landed on the riverbank.

Nom Pagoda,Pho Hien,Hung Yen travel,da trach temple

Nom Pagoda

Nom Pagoda,Pho Hien,Hung Yen travel,da trach temple
Nom Pagoda,Pho Hien,Hung Yen travel,da trach temple
Nom Pagoda,Pho Hien,Hung Yen travel,da trach temple

In Nom village

Pho Hien (Hien Street), Chua Chuong (Chuong Pagoda), and Den tho Chu Dong Tu (Chu Dong Tu Temple) are all associated with mysterious legends imbued with the cultural colors of ancient times.

Early the next morning, fishermen tried to push the raft of ironwood away but it returned. Local people belived that it was a happy omen and picked the wood up, and used it to build a sacred pagoda.

Nom pagoda attracts visitors with its ancient beauty and statues with typical characteristic of the ancient sculpture.

Monk Thich Truc Hien of Nom Pagoda affirmed that the 9-step stone bridge over the Nguyet Duc River was built by ancient people by hand. It is considered an enlightened bridge, which connects people with Buddhism.

Researchers believe that the bridge at Nom Pagoda is one of a few ancient stone bridges dating back to the 18th century in Vietnam.

The pagoda still has many antiques, including more than 100 ancient statues and many other artifacts such as stone steles, bronze bells and other valuable materials. Monk Thich Truc Hien said the precious ancient statures are made of soil, but it is unclear about the structure inside. The strange thing is that they have stayed safe and have been preserved intact despite floods, with no termites or damage.

Chuong Pagoda – beautiful landscape of Pho Hien

Nom Pagoda,Pho Hien,Hung Yen travel,da trach temple

According to Venerable Thich Thanh Khue, no one knows the real age of the pagoda, but it is estimated that the pagoda dates back to about the 3rd century AD.

There is a legend about the establishment of the pagoda. While the objects that came to Nom pagoda were precious wood pieces, the treasure to build Chuong (Bell) pagoda was a bell.

One day, when there was a heavy flood, the ferocious current brought a wooden raft with a beautiful golden bell on it. It was a surprise that only the old men in Nhan Duc hamlet could bring the bell ashore. Therefore, Nhan Duc’s people decided to upgrade the existing pagoda and hang the bell.

Chuong pagoda still preserves many precious relics, including a stone bridge built in 1702, stone stele from 1711, and statues of Buddha. The diverse statures are put on the peak of the sanctuary, which reflects the Buddhism’s philosophy of impermanence.

Spiritual tourism in Hung Yen

Ranked third in the country in number of ranked vestiges, Hung Yen province has great potential to develop tourism.

A representative from a travel firm specializing in serving Korean tourists said Hung Yen is an ideal destination for tourists who want to travel during the day because of its geographical position close to major cities.

Ngo Hoai Chung, deputy general director of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), thinks humanitarian resources should be the ‘nucleus’ for tourism development in the province, saying that cultural and spiritual tourism products need to be diversified.

A report showed that 900,000 travelers came to Hung Yen in 2018, and 670,000 came in the first half of 2019, including 14,500 foreign travelers.

In 2018, the provincial authorities approved the master plan on tourism development, which says that tourism will become a key industry in the locality by 2025. 

Nguyen Thao - Ngoc Trang

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