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First festival in Hanoi becomes national cultural heritage

Sun, 06 Apr 2014. Last updated Thu, 25 Jun 2015 08:41

On April 5, 2014 morning in Thanh Oai, Hanoi, Binh Da Festival in Hanoi received recognition of National Intangible Cultural Heritage. This festival is the first festival in Hanoi receiving the certificate.

Binh Da Village is also called Bao Da Village. According to the local people, this village is the place where Lac Long Quan, the second king of ancient Vietnam in Hong Bang Dynasty, started establishing his country. The Inner Temple is the place of worshiping Lac Long Quan and Great King Linh Lang, and other people who make contribution to the village. To express villagers’ respect to these people, Binh Da Festival was held hundreds of years ago and has been an important festival in Hanoi. In the past, Binh Da Festival took place from February 26 to March 6 (in lunar calendar). Binh Da villagers chose February 26 to be the opening day, and March 6 to be the most important day of the festival. Yet, in the last few years, this time was changed. The festival is held in three days, from March 4 to 6 in lunar calendar.

Binh Da Festival

The ceremony of recognizing Binh Da Festival as the National Intangible Cultural Heritage was held on April 5 (or March 6 in lunar year) in Thanh Oai, Hanoi with the attendance of Thanh Oai People’s Committee and other authorities of Hanoi City. In this ceremony, Nguyen Van Suu, the Deputy of Chairman of Hanoi People’s Committee, said that Binh Da Festival is the first cultural festival in Hanoi receiving the recognition on National Intangible Cultural Heritage. It means that the festival needs protecting and preserving as one of the important cultural values in Vietnam. In addition, Mr. Nguyen Hong Yen, chairman of Thanh Oai People’s Committee added, Binh Da is home to many vestiges of Dong Son culture of ancient Vietnamese. And, this festival is a traditional festival with profound historical values of unique and distinct religious and spiritual practices such as worshiping cows and other rituals.

Binh Da Festival

In this event, the Thanh Oai authorities coordinated with Institute of Vietnam Art and Culture (under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism) to implement to upgrade Binh Da Festival. In accordance with this coordination, the festival in 2014 was held in larger scale with new features. For example, apart from restoring a number of traditional rituals and folk games, the organizers launched several festive spaces with modern cultural features such as high-tech lights shows at nights during the festival. Besides, in this ceremony, the chairman of Thanh Oai District said that this event plays a crucial role in preserving, and bringing into play the value of Binh Da Festival. Accordingly, many programs on promulgating, educating, and propagandizing the value of festive heritage are launched to raise the awareness of people in reserving, inheriting and promoting the value of the festival. At the same time, these programs create favorable conditions to protect forms of daily life, rituals and traditional customs; and to restore other traditional festivals.

Binh Da Festival

With great devotion since hundreds of years, Binh Da villagers have been maintaining and inheriting this traditional festival along with unique practices of ritual. This expresses many striking historical and cultural values, attracting a large number of residential generations in local area and tourists from other places, especially foreigners during their Hanoi day trips.