The Tran Temple was where the kings of that Dynasty worshipped. There are three main buildings which were built below the Dynasty’s home, the Trung Quang Palace, the Thien Truong Temple (UpperTemple), Trung Hoa Temple (Centre Temple), and Co Trach Temple (Lower Temple). The latter is in honour of one of the Dynasty’s greatest generals who helped the Dynasty repel Mongol invasions. Recently, a new temple, Trung Hoa, has been built to worship all the kings of the Dynasty which ruled from 1226 until 1400.
Tourists who take a Vietnam holiday with kids at any time of the year should include this site in their Vietnam tour package but if they are in the area during the Tran Temple Festival, better still. Thousands of people attend the Festival in Nam Dinh Province, enjoying the numerous activities that range from a procession on the water and fish worshipping ceremonies; fishing is the livelihood of the ancestors.
The Festival begins as elders gather at Co Trach Temple then set off to take water from a nearby well. There will be 200 people in the procession, some carrying flags, drummers and dragon dance teams. It is a colourful affair with traditional costumes as well as fishing equipment. A few fish are caught but then released into the Hong River in a hope of a good year for fishermen.
Over the period of the Festival there are plenty of activities, including Human Chess, folk singing, wrestling and dragon dancing.
The Tran Temple Festival has recently been recognised as an events of national heritage significance and the buildings a national relic. It is almost certain that the Festival’s popularity will continue, especially because of the quality of the site where it is held. Those travelling in Vietnam should certainly make note.
Read more: Vietnamese festival and event