The morning of October 6th, 2017 marked the opening of Con Son – Kiep Bac Autumn Festival 2017 in Hai Duong Province, the north of Vietnam. Also, this event was to commemorate the 717th Anniversary of the death of General Tran Hung Dao (Tran Quoc Tuan), one of the most well-known and revered characters in the history of Vietnam. Let’s read more about one of the most important festivals in Vietnam !
Con Son – Kiep Bac Autumn Festival 2017
In the time when the festival was kicked off, the head of the event organizers read the scripts to remind of the General Tran Hung Dao’s backgrounds and life achievements linked to the Vietnamese history. That said, Tran Quoc Tuan was born in 1228, of the royal families with the Tran last name. During his childhood, he became famous for the handsome look, intelligence, wisdom and excellent at both literature and martial art. Under the reign of Tran Dynasty (1225-1400), he was the Supreme Commander who led the Dai Viet Army to defeat the three-time massive Mongolian invasions. Such great victories made him one of the most revered and accomplished military figures in the world history. Not only did he have the wonderful military strategies, but he also was very good at literature.
The General Tran Hung Dao passed away on the 20th day of the eighth Lunar Month, at the age of 70. Over seven decades passing, his belief, military strategies, patriotism, etc., have been still evaluated and honored by the later generations. In the spiritual life of the Vietnamese people, he was even called “Đức Thánh Trần” (or the Tran Saint).
In that sense, the Con Son – Kiep Bac Autumn Festival is held up every year to commemorate the merits of the General Tran Hung Dao – the National Hero and the excellent military strategist. Also, know that the Con Son – Kiep Bac Heritage Site was inscribed as the Special National Heritage Site of Vietnam in 2012. Besides, the Con Son Kiep Bac Festival was listed in the Intangible Cultural Heritage List of Vietnam.
This year, in 2017, the event took place from September 29th to October 9th (the 10th to the 20th of the eighth Lunar Month) including diverse rituals and activities. Some of the most outstanding things were the Pedestrian Parade, The Reading Ceremony, The Military Parade on Luc Dau River, The Praying Ritual for Goodness, The Incense Offerings, The Commemoration of Tran Saint, the Water Puppetry, etc. The beautiful traits of culture and spirituality in the Kiep Bac – Con Son Heritage Site were great.
Con Son – Kiep Bac Historical Site in Hai Duong
Con Son Relic Site
Regarding Con Son Relic Site, it has the highlights of the pagoda, towers, and historical remnants. Also, it cannot help praising for the natural surroundings of the site filled with the mountain ranges, the lush pine forests, and the dreamlike stream. For any tour packages to Vietnam, travelers are able to combine with a visit to Con Son Relic Site while traveling to Halong Bay.
Outstandingly, Con Son Mountain appeals to the visitors who all agree that the mountain looks similar to the resting lion. It has a pagoda on the summit for the climbers to do worshipping. Nearby this mountain is the Phoenix Mountain, making up the fantastic mountainous clusters to amaze the guests. There, you can also feast eyes with the rugged cliffs, the pine forests, the shining streams, and the scenic valleys. At the foot of the mountain is Con Son Pagoda erected at the end of the 13th century.
The other eminent sites to spend time in are Pearl Well, Am Bach Van (White Cloud Temple), and Ban Co Tien (The Fairy Chessboard). Each of these mysterious attractions owns the myths and tales behind its names and constructions. More importantly, make sure you do homage to the Nguyen Trai Temple constructed in December 2000 and opened in 2002 on the anniversary of the 600th birthday of Nguyen Trai. In an area of 10,000 square meters, the temple owns the beautiful landscapes while its architecture is solemn and elegant. Expect to see the mountainous surroundings, the ceremonial halls, the urn for burning the votive offerings, the stele house, etc.
Kiep Bac Temple
According to the locals, the Kiep Bac Temple was built to honor the General Tran Hung Dao. In 1962, the pagoda was first inscribed as the National Heritage Site, and then in 2012, it was ranked as the Special National Heritage in Vietnam. Dedicated to the National Hero – The General Tran Hung Dao, this temple attracts lots of pilgrims coming to burn the incense and show respect. The area becomes quite crowded especially on the Anniversary of his death.
In fact, Kiep Bac is the junction of Kep Village and Bac Village, resulting in the name of the temple. The heritage site was built in the lush and picturesque valley bordered by the Nui Rong Mountains. The geographical conditions make this site poetic, enigmatic, and peaceful. In the 13th century, this area functioned as the hideout and residence of the General Tran Hung Dao. Then, in the 14th century, the residents built this temple in the middle of the valley to honor his patriotism and achievement. Inside the temple, there was the bronze statues of his, his wife, his two daughters, Pham Ngu Lao, Nam Tao, and Bac Dau. Also, there noticed the tablets for worshipping his four sons. As noted above, the annual Kiep Bac Temple Festival takes place on the 20th day of 8th Lunar Month, commemorating the death of the General Tran Hung Dao.
The whole heritage site of Con Son – Kiep Bac has an area of 8 hectares, around 80km from Hanoi. The distance between Kiep Bac Temple and Con Son Relic Site is around 5km. Both are the important and attractive places of interest in Hai Duong Province. Con Son Kiep Bac Heritage Site welcomes the visitors from all corners of the world. And if you arrive at the destination during the festive milestone, learn more about Vietnamese culture and history. Make a trip to Hai Duong Vietnam!