Ngoc Son Temple Festival

Ngoc Son Temple Festival

Autumn
The Ngoc Son Temple sits on a little island in Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. The lake is named after a 500-year-old legend. It was said that a divine tortoise lived in the lake. When China ruled Vietnam, the tortoise gave a warrior named Le Loi a sword with sacred powers. This Le Loi wielded to liberate Vietnam, eventually becoming Emperor Le Thai To. Later he went out on the lake to give the sword back to the tortoise, who took it, then disappeared into the lake's depths—thus, the lake's name means "Lake of the Restored Sword."
The Ngoc Son, meaning "Jade Mound," Temple honors three Vietnamese saints—a doctor, La To, a writer, Van Xuong, and a martial artist, Quan Vu—and one patriotic hero, Tran Hung Dao. The annual festival commemorates these ancestors with a procession from Hanoi which crosses a bridge to the temple. Some play traditional instruments along the way. At the temple a special worship service is held, then everyone enjoys a feast.
CONTACTS:
Vietnam National Administration of Tourism
80 Quan Su Rd.
Hanoi, Vietnam
84-4-942-1061; fax: 84-4-826-3956
www.vietnamtourism.com/e_pages/news/index.a
SOURCES:
FestWrld: Viet-1997, p. 16