Nam Dinh(VNA) – Thousands of locals and visitors attended the water procession and fishworship ceremonies held on February 8 at Tran Temple Complex in Loc Vuong ward,Nam Dinh city of the northern province of Nam Dinh.
The ceremonies aim to honour ancestors of the Tran dynasty (1226-1400), whoearned their livings from fishing.
The ceremonies also remind locals of famed fish breeding dating back hundredsof years in Tuc Mac village in today’s Loc Vuong ward. The village was also theresidential area of the Tran family in Nam Dinh province.
The ceremonies, which pray for good weather, had been lost for years until theywere reborn in 2014 based on the memories of local elders.
On February 8’s early morning, local elders gathered at Co Trach Temple to praybefore setting off to take water from a nearby ancient well.
A procession of 200 people carrying flags, including dragon dance teams anddrum players carried a sedan chair to the well. Fishermen with traditionalcostumes and fishing tools also joined the procession.
After fetching the water, the procession stopped to join a fishing ritual at ahalf-moon-shaped pond near the well. Ten snakehead and carp fish were caughtand stored in a boat carried on a dragon-carved palaquin.
The procession moved to Thien Truong Temple for a worship ceremony.
The fish were then set free in the Hong (Red) River, aiming to bring aprosperous year for local fishermen.
Up to Sunday (February 12), there will be other activities like dragon dances,folk singing, human chess and folk wrestling.
On Saturday (February 11, or the 15th day of the first lunar month), aworship ceremony and symbolic royal seal distribution ceremony will be held.
“We have prepared enough symbolic royal seals to give to locals and tourists aslucky cards for the new year,” said Cao Xuan Hoat, an organising committeemember.
Pham Thi Oanh, Vice Chairwoman of the provincial People’s Committee, said theorganisers had tightened management to ensure the festival’s security.
The Tran Temple Festival in Nam Dinh, which is held every year between 13th and18th day of the first lunar month, was recognised as a national intangibleheritage in 2014.
The historical complex of the Tran Kings’ shrines and tombs received specialnational relic status in 2015.
The neighbouring Thai Binh province is considered the birthplace of the TranKings, while Nam Dinh was their first residential area. The festival is alsoheld at the Tran Temple complex in Thai Binh during the first lunar month everyyear.-VNA