Tran Temple Festival in Nam Dinh, North Vietnam

Tran Temple festival in Nam Dinh annually happens at Tran Temple of Loc Vuong, Nam Dinh City, Nam Dinh Province, North Vietnam from the 15th day to 20th day of August on the lunar calendar to show gratitude to 14 Tran kings and General Tran Hung Dao.

According to historical books, The Tran Dynasty ruled in Dai Viet (Vietnam now) from 1225 to 1400. Tran Dynasty consists of 14 Kings of which the first king is Tran Thai Tong and the final king Thieu De. The Tran dynasty defeated three Mongol invasions, the most notable in the decisive Battle of Bach Dang River that the famous General Tran Tran Hung Dao commanded in 1288. Tran Hung Dao (1228-1300), also known as Tran Quoc Tuan or Grand Prince of Hưng Đạo, was an imperial prince, statesman and military commander of Dai Viet during the Tran Dynasty. He commanded the Dai Viet armies which three major Mongol invasions in the 13th century. His multiple victories over the Yuan Dynasty under Kublai Khan are considered among the great military feats in Vietnamese history.

The Red River Delta is home to many Tran temples, but Tran Temple in Nam Dinh is probably the most famous of these temples. It is a complex of temples consisting of 3 individual temples: Thien Truong, Co Trach, and Trung Hoa. The Tran Temple Festival in Nam Dinh happens from the 15th day to the 20th day of August on the lunar calendar. In even years, the festival is bigger than odd years. However, every year tourists from all over the nation come to pray for the peaceful and prosperous country.

On festival days in the yard of the temple, there is a big flag – the traditional flag with 5 bright colors symbolizing the five basic elements (metal, wood, water, fire, earth, according to philosophy), the square symbolizing the earth and the crescent edge symbolizing the sun. The center of the festival flag is embroidered 陈 Chinese word.

The ceremony is carried out solemnly. The first is the ceremony carrying the gods from the temples in the area back Tran temple to offer incense. Incense Offering Ceremony has 14 virgins carrying the trays of flowers, going into Tran Temple to offer the kings. Besides the ceremony, there are many unique art and sports activities such as cockfighting, martial arts performing, wrestling, lion dancing, balanced bridge walking (di cau kieu), flower dancing, chess playing. These cultural activities make Tran festival interesting attracting visitors all over the nation.

Tran Temple Festival in Nam Dinh is one of the most famous festivals in North Viet Nam. If you have a chance to travel to Ninh Dinh Province in mid-August, do not forget to attend this special festival.

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