Hung King was a title given to the rulers of an area which today is a southern part of China and the north of Vietnam. The date was around 3000 BC. These kings were instrumental in the founding of Vietnam, and as such, it is quite right that the people give thanks to them because history and tradition is so important in Vietnam.
There are many legends relating to the past in this part of South East Asia. One talks of a time thousands of years ago when Lac Long Quan, King Dragon, lived near the water. A northern king, De Lai and his daughter Au Co visited and she married Lac Long Quan. She gave birth to a sac which grew and grew, burst to reveal a hundred babies. These children became the first inhabitants of Vietnam. The eldest boy became king of Phu Tho Province and was known as King Hung I. There were 18 Hung kings over the next years until 258BC.
During that time the region developed and the national characteristics still seen today were established; patriotism, community spirit, determination yet mutual respect. In the third lunar month, between the 8th and 11th day, there is a nationwide festival to remember the anniversary of the death of the first Hung King. The main day is the 10th when there is a national holiday.
Family ancestors are very important to the Vietnamese people so quite naturally the ancestor of the nation must be remembered. The Hung Temple is around 85 kilometres north west of the capital, Hanoi which is the starting point for many people travelling in Vietnam. It is located on Nghia Linh Mountain in Phu Tho Province in Phong Chau District.If your Vietnam private tour means you are in Vietnam at that time, the festival is celebrated everywhere but the Temple is the real place to be.
Flags are put up along the road leading to the Temple and a large balloon goes up to advertise the event. A 100 lights are released into the sky the night before the 10th and the next morning there are flowers, worship and a feast involving fruit and cake, invented by the 18th Hung King. There are processions involving elephants, singing and several attractions such as cross-bow shooting, rice cooking, dancing and cock fighting. The main day is quite a spectacle which tourists on holiday in Vietnam are certain to enjoy.