Phu Giay festival is one of the five biggest traditional festivals in Viet Nam. Phu Giay, which is located on Kim Thai commune, Vu Ban district, Nam Dinh province, is a vestige of Vietnamese people’s spirit. After being given permission by the government, Phu Giay is getting more and more plentiful both organization and spirit.
[Phu Giay festival] Legend
Phu Giay originated in Lieu Hanh Princess who is one of the four immortal gods of Vietnamese people (Tan Vien, Chu Dong Tu, Lieu Hanh and Thanh Giong). According to annals, Lieu Hanh is Quynh Hoa Princess – the daughter of Jade Emperor. She has to descend on earth because she broke a cup. Especially, when becoming a Buddhist monk, she deserved credit for helping the court, quelling rebellions and treating diseases. Lieu Hanh princess visited many place and did anything out of charity. Therefore, residents hold her in the greatest respect and elevated her to the God Mother. People made a temple to honor her.
[Phu Giay festival] Celebration
The festival lasts from 1st to 10th in the third lunar month every year. The third lunar month is the time agricultural work has completed, so people can spend their leisure visiting the festival. Phu Giay festival attracts a lot of visitors from many other regions such as Lang Son, Hai Phong, Ha Noi….
They come here many time with the aim at both relaxing after hard working and feeling the atmosphere of ceremony. On 3 March is considered as the main day to commemorate the Mother Lieu Hanh.
Nearly 30 young man from each village carry long bamboo sticks and stand in the ranks of 4 words “Mau nghi thien ha” that is the anniversary of the death of the mother. Lieu Hanh princess is picked up from Van Cat pagoda to Dan pagoda on the 5th March and from Tien Huong temple to Goi pagoda on the 6th March. Both man and woman wear colorful traditional clothes and take part in the procession with thousands of participants walk, dance and chant loudly.
Some traditional games such as cock fighting, dragging happened after finishing the procession. Moreover, the procession takes place animatedly with lion dancing. Some intangible cultures such as Cheo, Chau Van and folk song create exiting atmosphere for the festival.
The main temples
Van Cat has a semi-circle lake in the front of temple which is linked with the ground by stone bridge. The bridge is engraved elaborately. Lieu royal tomb is located near to Chinh temple. Phu Giay has more than 20 temples, pagodas. Beside Chinh temple, there are many different temples such as Tien Huong, Cong Dong, Gieng…
If you have a plan to visit Phu Giay festival, why don’t you go to Vieng market? It is certain that you will have an interesting traveling. These architectures surround Kim Thai commune which is alluvial plain with immense field, low mountains, well-off village and winding river. All of that make natural scenery and culture become more picturesque.