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First Mother Goddess of Forests festival on way

Released at: 11:00, 19/05/2017

First Mother Goddess of Forests festival on way

Photo: Nguoi Lao Dong

Festival to be held on May 20 and 21 at Dong Cuong Temple in northern Yen Bai province.

by Le Diem

A festival honoring the practices of the worship of the Mother Goddess of Forests will be held on May 20 and 21 at Dong Cuong Temple in Ben Dien village, Dong Cuong commune, Van Yen district, in the northern mountainous province of Yen Bai.

This first event of its kind will gather together folk artisans of the Mother Goddess religion around the country. In addition to the opening ceremony on May 20, a wide variety of unique activities will also be held, including a carnival featuring practices relating to the worship of the Mother Goddess, performance of practices in incarnation and costumes used for worshipping practices, especially for the ritual of “len dong” (spirit mediumship) and exhibitions of photos and paintings of Mother Goddess worshipping rituals around the country, particularly among ethnic minorities.

The festival, with coordination among amateur arts troupes and well-known local artisans, will promote unique cultural identities, including the worship of the Mother Goddess of Forests.

The event aims to re-introduce the unique worshipping rites as a cultural heritage of Vietnam among tourists and local people. The worshipping of Mother Goddesses was recently recognized as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage for its important role in the community, which reflects the history, culture, solidarity, and spiritual and religious needs of the people.

During the festival, an entire set of worshipping photos of the Dao ethnic minority people will be displayed, while religious activities of some ethnic minority groups in Yen Bai will also be reproduced.

On the occasion, a fair, introducing products made of cinnamon, a local agricultural crop in Van Yen district, will feature the participation of numerous local enterprises and artisans.

According to Tran Thuy Luu from the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the festival will be held at Dong Cuong Temple, an important historic and cultural relic for Mother Goddess worship.

Dong Cuong Temple is an important historical and cultural relic sites among a network of temples and places relating to the Mother Goddesses religion. It is well-known as a sacred temple and located close to the banks of the Red River, where the Mother Goddess of Forests was reborn and lived. It also worships several ethnic minority heroes during the Tran Dynasty (1225-1400) who scarified their lives in battles against Mongol invaders.

Practitioners of Mother Goddesses worship believe that the temple is the origin of the worship of the Mother Goddess of Forests. The Mother Goddess of Forests is among the Mother Goddesses of the Three Realms, who look over heaven, water, and mountains and forests.

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