Dong Ky Festival
09:11 | 21/02/2014

VGP – Besides Lim and Do Temple Festivals, Dong Ky Festival is one of the famous traditional festivals in the land of Bac Ninh. The festival is often held on January 4th of the lunar calendar with two major rites of firecracker procession and “Xo quan dam”, attracting a large number of tourists.

The Dong Ky Festival starts with a procession ò two wooden firecrackers to the village's communal house

Legend has it that in the dynasty of the 6th Hung King there was a general, called Thien Cuong, who came to Dong Ky Village in Tu Son, Bac Ninh, 30km from Ha Noi, to recruit soldiers to help the 6th Hung King defeat the invaders.

He divided the soldiers into four wings commanded by four generals. After defeating the enemy, General Thien Cuong led the victory troops to return the village where he held a feast for his troops and organized a procession with firecrackers. From that time on, Dong Ky villagers praised him as their tutelary deity and every year, they organize the festival on the 4th day of the first lunar month to commemorate his victory.

The festival starts with the procession of two huge firecrackers, 2-3m in length and 40-50cm in diameter which are red-lacquered and carefully decorated with carved dragon and phoenix patterns by the villagers. To perform the solemn rite, about 300 unmarried men from prestigious families in the area are selected to parade the two firecrackers to the communal house.

“Xo quan dam” is one of the most important parts of the festival. On the Lunar New Year’s Eve, villagers choose four old men from four families in the village who not only represent the four generals of Thien Cung’s troops but also the four gods of rain, wind, thunder and lighting. The men in red costumes are taken to the communal house where they perform the ritual to pray for good weather, bumper crops and prosperity.

Besides these two major rites, the festival also sees many folk games, such as blind man’s buff, catch eels from a big water jar, human chess, wrestling and love duet singing.

The festival in Dong is not only aimed at praying for luck, happiness and prosperity in the New Year but also to honor those who were credited with national construction and protection so the festival has been preserved for years and attracts a large number of tourists nationwide.

Dong Ky villagers prepare for the festival


Quan dam who present the four gods of rain, wind, tunder and lighting meet and greet each other at the procession

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