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How did the death anniversary of Hung Kings 91 years ago take place?

Although he established a career and became famous in the South, scholar Nguyen Hien Le was born in Hanoi, originally in Phuong Khe village, Ba Vi district, Hanoi today. He had a childhood attached to the city of Hanoi until he graduated from college, in 1934.

How did the death anniversary of Hung Kings 91 years ago take place?  - Photo 1.

The landscape of Hung Temple and the anniversary of the Ancestor’s death anniversary in 1931 is described in two books by Nguyen Hien Le.

Landscape of Hung Temple in 1931

In the book Memoir In his work, author Nguyen Hien Le recounted that, in the early summer of 1931, after failing the graduation exam at the primary college level, while waiting to prepare for the entrance exam to the College of Public Works, he had a visit to the temple. Hung. The scenery on the way was described by him in gentle, simple and poetic words:

“The road from Xuan Lung to To mountain (Hung mountain) is paved with stones, very deserted, very clean. It took me a kilometer to see a shadow of a person. The road meanders in the woods and hills of tea and pineapple, on top of which there is a house. Leaves of the camp keeper, ripe yellow fruit on the tree, fragrant air in the air, and the anxious beeping sound makes the scene even more still and sad.

At a turn, the murky Hung mountain appeared, standing in front of us, taller and more delicate than the surrounding mountains, I was as nervous as suffocating. The road sloped, I just walked and looked up at the gate of the three gates and with each step, the mountain rose higher and higher against the blue sky, the wings were majestic. The mountain is called Nghia Linh, belongs to Co Tich village, Lam Thao district, people in the area often call it Temple mountain.

There are about 300 steps built to the top. We visited Ha temple, also called Gieng temple, worshiping two princesses, the only child of King Hung; stay at the Tam Quan Trung Temple, here is a stele recalling the history of the Hung Kings; Finally, go to Thuong temple to worship 18 Hung Kings, in front there is a large horizontal painting engraved with four words “Nam Viet Trieu To”, very reverent.

Behind the temple is a tower, which does not seem ancient, called Tomb Tomb; Here, looking through the branches and leaves, I can see shimmering in the distance, the stream of Bach Hac junction. This area of ​​tens of kilometers from Hung mountain to Bach Hac reminds us of many incidents, my nostalgia is abundant.

This visit to the Tomb I have carefully recorded in the volume Heavenly path“.

Heavenly path This is the only book written by Nguyen Hien Le, telling about the strange journey of a Vietnamese, originally from a Confucian house in Phu Tho province, who traveled to the US to join a group of gold seekers in the West of the land. this country.

How did the death anniversary of Hung Kings 91 years ago take place?  - Photo 2.

Incense offering ceremony at Hung Temple in 1904. Documentary photo.

Although it is a novel, the author has included in the story many events and images that he personally witnessed, including the event of the death anniversary of Hung Vuong, described through the narration of the character Tran Van Bang as follows: :

“He boasted that when he was young, he had attended an Ancestral ceremony because his village was only about twelve kilometers from the foot of the mountain; the ceremony was very solemnly held for two or three days, with provincial officials coming to sacrifice, hanging lights, and carrying out a palanquin procession. Bat Cong from Van Cuong village to Xuan Lung village and then to Tien Kien (the home village of Hung Mountain) has fun games such as fairy swing, whore shrimp nest, human chess, rope climbing, puppetry, especially playing stick, and guests the lowland is very crowded”.

After describing the journey from the Lower Temple to the Upper Temple as in MemoirNguyen Hien Le added some nostalgic features bearing the feelings of the people of our country during the colonial era: “It is as Mr. Bang said, here only monkeys and beeps can be heard, but beeps are engraved. It’s strange, it reminds us of so many national revivals. Just a few years ago, Nguyen Thai Hoc and Nguyen Thi Giang also climbed these platforms to reach the place where they swore to be born and born in front of the Ancestral altar.

Thuong Temple was described in detail by Nguyen Hien Le: “The temple is small, built by scholars from the Ly dynasty; restored in 1914, and probably whitewashed every year, so it doesn’t look old. According to Dai. Nam Nhat Thong Chi (Son Tay province – because Phu Tho belonged to Son Tay in the past), in the 13th year of Tu Duc (1860). The householder of Son – Hung – Tuyen was Bui Ai, because he had two stone pillars, just built one. In the altar room, Governor Nguyen Ba Nghi wrote a poem.

The poem says that the old grave is halfway up the mountain, where it is unknown, is just a legend. Currently, to the left behind the temple, there is a tower, which does not seem ancient, called Tomb To, probably just symbolic. Even though I knew that, my heart was also full of emotions, when I visited the Mausoleum and then stood looking through the branches and leaves, I saw glittering in the distance, the water of Bach Hac junction. This tens of kilometers wide area reminds us of many stories, maybe digging deep can not find many fairy tales.

Ancestor’s death anniversary more than 90 years ago

After describing the scene of Hung Temple, Nguyen Hien Le brings readers to the old Ancestor’s death anniversary through the narration of the character Tran Van Bang:

“We spread a newspaper under the tree to display sticky rice with chicken, salt and lemon and eat it, Mr. Bang told me about the Hung Temple festival. March 10 is the anniversary of the ancestors’ death, but from the 9th, people around everywhere poured in, crowded with an area where normally only the sound of birdsong and monkeys could be heard, because that day there were two jubilant processions, one pulled up from Phu Ninh village, one pulled down from Fairy Village. Each group has a palanquin displaying banh chung and banh day.

The next day, a great minister representing the Southern dynasties and the mandarins in Phu Tho came to sacrifice. During those three days, there were all kinds of games: rope climbing, puppetry, cheo singing, Xam singing, shrimp nest, hut song, fairy swing, bridge sowing… The bridge was made of red jasmine stuffed with pomelos. Young men and women stand separately on either side, a few yards apart. A woman on the female side sings a verse and then throws the ball to the male side: whoever catches it, sings back and then throws the ball back to the female side.

How did the death anniversary of Hung Kings 91 years ago take place?  - Photo 3.

Image of the incense offering ceremony at Hung Temple in 1905. Documentary photo.

The most elegant is the human chess game – a special beauty contest of our nation. The girls selected to be chess pieces must all be children of a well-to-do family. The most beautiful girl is to be a “general”, wearing a scarf with tangled cords, wearing a yellow tunic, black pants, walking feet, and wearing phoenix flowers in her ears. Guests watching the flag crowded around each other, a few because they liked the flag, and most of them to see the beauty, find a bride or find a wife.

Mr. Bang also told me two more customs about Ancestor’s death anniversary. People here do not celebrate Tet on the 3rd of March, but on the 10th of March. That day, every family has rice soup to welcome their grandparents back to pay homage to the ancestors.

The second custom is the custom of transporting the saint Tan Vien, staying in a village in Bat Bat district (Son Tay) on the bank of the Da River. On the 9th the villagers lowered a new bamboo boat; In the middle of the boat, spread a cashew nut, a chicken raspberry, and an incense burner, and then row to the other side of the river, rowing back and forth three times, thus the ceremony of giving (Saint Tan Vien went to attend the Patriarchate). The next afternoon, they also rowed back three times, called the welcoming ceremony, and finally carried the incense bowl on the palanquin to carry it back to the communal house and to the wedding ceremony.

The author concludes the story of the visit to Hung Temple and the activities of the Ancestor’s death anniversary by saying: “After eating, we rested on the pedestal in front of the temple door to rest for a while. Although we were tired because we had to climb hundreds of steps to build, we were still in the dark. The trees are cool, the wind is gentle, but we can’t sleep because we’re heavy with nostalgia.”

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