Fast Facts about Chem Temple Festival in Hanoi
Date of Chem Temple Festival in Hanoi: 14th to the 16th day of the fourth lunar month
Location of Chem Temple Festival in Hanoi: Thuy Phuong Commune, Tu Liem District, Hanoi
Objects of Worship at Chem Temple Festival in Hanoi: Ly Ong Trong and his wife – Princess Bach Tinh.
Characteristics of Chem Temple Festival in Hanoi: Water procession on river, releasing pigeons.
About Chem Temple Festival in Hanoi
There is a great legend attached to the Chem Temple Festival in Hanoi. Chem Temple is located in Thuy Phuong village in Hanoi’s suburban district of Tu Liem. It is dedicated to Ly Ong Trong, alias Ly Than, a legendary figure during the reign of the Hung Kings. Ly Ong Trong was a native of Chem area. When the Chinese Tan dynasty wanted to expand its territories, Ly Than made a great contribution to this victory. Later, the Chinese Emperor entrusted Ly Than with the task of safeguarding the northern frontiers against the Mongolian invaders. Ly Than’s feat of arms was duly rewarded by the Emperor, who gave one of his princesses, Bach Ly Cung, in marriage to him. When he grew old, his statue was put at the entrance of the Shen-Yang fortress as deterrence against Mongolian invaders. Thinking that the statue was Ly Than, the invaders retreated.
In admiration for Ly Than, the local villagers built a temple in his honor. The temple is an old piece of architecture, with many sculpted figures. It contains, among other things, two gilded wooden statues of Ly Than and his wife. Every year, Chem Temple Festival in Hanoi is held from May 14 to May 16 (lunar calendar) in remembrance of the hero.
Features of Chem Temple Festival in Hanoi
Chem Temple Festival in Hanoi is a big festival in the area of former Hanoi only after Co Loa and Dong festivals. The features of Chem Temple Festival in Hanoi include:
Water procession is a major ceremony designed to obtain water for the statues’ bathing.
The boats go downstream until they reach the entrance of the Chem Communal house. Then, they start the rituals on obtaining water.
This occasion is accompanied by drumbeats and gong beats and, in particular, by shouts “U oe, u oe” which reverberate on both banks of the river.
After taking water, the three boats sail downstream to Ngu port where the participants disembark and enter the Ma House.
Next starts the procession of cull objects comprising, among other things, men-drawn carts and chariots, elephants, horses, to be followed by palanquins carrying dresses, hats and ceremonial palanquins. A bowl of water is put on a palanquin decorated in various colors and carried by four persons.
The procession of the funeral oration takes place in the evening.
The procession is followed by a grand ceremony at the communal house.
After duly washing hands, two of them carry food, drinks and lighted candles into the back chamber, while the whole group comes in, marching through two lines of old villagers who hold and turn round blue and rose pennons.
At last, the leader of the ceremony reads the funeral oration amidst a deep silence and the fragrance of burning incense sticks and sandalwood.
After all that, traditional folk games are played that include tug-of-war, kite flying, pigeons releasing, trai racing between villages in the region.
Chem Temple Festival in Hanoi is a colorful festival filled with fun and mirth- a worth visit during your tour to Hanoi.