Mountain God festival opens

Nhan Dan Online/VNA – The Tan Vien (the God of the Mountain) festival opened on February 13 (or the 14th day of the first lunar month), in Hanoi’s district of Ba Vi, attracting a crowd of visitors from all over the country.

Palanquin procession at Va temple in Son Tay town in 2013 (Credit: VNA)
Palanquin procession at Va temple in Son Tay town in 2013 (Credit: VNA)

Besides a traditional ritual and an incense offering ceremony held in the relic sites of Ha (Low), Trung (Middle) and Thuong (Upper) temples, many folk games, sports competitions and performances were organised.

Legend in the northern delta has it that Tan Vien, also called Son Tinh, was the God of the Mountain and governed all creatures on the land. He taught people to grow crops, hunt animals, catch fish, practise martial arts and to hold festivals.

Opposite to Tan Vien was Thuy Tinh, the God of the Sea, responsible for rising water levels that damaged crops, and drowned people and animals. Son Tinh beat Thuy Tinh in a competition to win the heart of Princess My Nuong, the daughter of the Hung King XVIII.

In Vietnamese folklore, Tan Vien is one of the four immortals, along with Chu Dong Tu, Saint Giong and Goddess Lieu Hanh. The God of the Mountain is worshiped in many localities in Ba Vi district.     

Tan Vien embodies the aspiration to triumph over natural disasters, especially floods.

The same day, a festival dedicated to him opened in Va temple in Son Tay town. The festival will run until February 16.