Nature has blessed Ninh Binh with a variety of breathtaking natural landscapes, many cultural heritages, nature preserves, and world biosphere reserves. Additionally, Ninh Binh hosts a variety of unique festivals that draw a large number of visitors each year.
Visitors to Ninh Binh have the opportunity to not only immerse yourselves in the stunning natural scenery, but also to experience the old and traditional festival spaces.
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Hoa Lu Ancient Capital Festival
- Read more about: Hoa Lu Ancient Capital in Ninh Binh
Hoa Lu festival is the biggest festival in Ninh Binh province and was recognized as a national traditional festival in 2015. The festival takes place in Truong Yen commune, Hoa Lu district, every year from the 8th to the 10th day of the third lunar month. The festival is held to commemorate the great merits of King Dinh Tien Hoang and King Le Dai Hanh.
Dinh Bo Linh established the first centralized feudal state of the country more than 1,000 years ago after conquering 12 warlords, then chose Hoa Lu as the capital of Dai Co Viet and assumed the title of Dinh Tien Hoang.
The sacrificial ceremony and the water procession are two solemn rituals that make up the Hoa Lu festival’s ceremony. Along with attending the ceremony, visitors can also take part in the festival’s traditional games, such as human chess, as well as its boat races, tug of wars, cockfights, swingings, and sporting competitions.
Trang An traditional festival (commemorating Saint Quy Minh Dai Vuong)
- Time: The 18th of lunar March (on the 3rd lunar month)
- Location: Tran temple, Minh Hai commune, Hoa Lu district, Ninh Binh province
Saint Quy Minh Dai Vuong is one of the gods worshiped according to folk beliefs. In Ninh Binh, the Saint is worshiped in many places, including the communal house in Sinh Duoc village in Gia Sinh commune (Gia Vien district), Canh Dieu Mountain (Ninh Binh City), Thien Duong Mountain, Ke Thuong Temple in Ninh Van Commune (Hoa Lu district), and Tran Temple in Trang An – Bai Dinh Spiritual Tourism Area.
The Trang An festival, a traditional celebration honoring Saint Quy Minh Dai Vuong, is one of the distinctive Ninh Binh festivals that draws visitors from all over the world.
Thai Vi Temple Festival Ninh Binh
The Thai Vi temple, which honors the four Tran dynasty kings Tran Thai Tong, Tran Thanh Tong, Tran Nhan Tong, Tran Anh Tong, and Hien Tu Queen Mother, is situated in Van Lam village, Ninh Hai commune, and Hoa Lu district. The festival is held to commemorate the merits of the Tran kings, particularly King Tran Thai Tong, who had the distinction of encouraging settlers to create a hamlet in Ninh Hai commune.
The festival typically takes place every year between the 14th and the 16th day of the third lunar month. The sacrifices are brought out, cleaned, and set in the yard with additional offerings on the morning of the 15th day, the main festival day, including a Day cake (a round cake made of glutinous rice and mung beans) that is as big as a tray and decorated with a beautiful carving of a phoenix bird. Fruits, bananas, pigs’ heads, boiled chicken, and sticky rice are also included in the offerings.
In particular, white sticky rice is very important because it represents high purity. The king was also offered a bowl of delectable rice and a bowl of soup (made from “Sang” or “Vi” vegetable) because the surroundings around the temple used to be covered in this lush vegetable when King Tran Thai Tong visited in the past.
Trang An Festival in Ninh Binh
Trang An festival, also known as the festival of Saint Quy Minh Dai Vuong, is held on the 18th day of the third lunar month every year. This is one of the unique traditional festivals of Ninh Binh, because it takes place in a setting of clear blue water, enchanted shimmering caves, and breathtaking mountains.
Saint Quy Minh Dai Vuong, according to folk legend, was one of three brothers – three canonized generals (Saint Tan Vien, Saint Cao Son and Saint Quy Minh), who had the merit of guarding Son Nam region and protecting the nation during the reign of King Hung Due Vuong (the 18th Hung King). He was a “superior god,” ordained by the kings throughout many dynasties, worshiped in everywhere and revered as the tutelary god in many villages.
Bai Dinh Pagoda Festival Ninh Binh
Bai Dinh Pagoda is a well-known pagoda with many records in Vietnam and Southeast Asia. Bai Dinh Pagoda Festival is held on the 6th day of the Lunar New Year and lasts until the end of the third lunar month.
Bai Dinh Pagoda Festival includes 2 parts: ceremony and festival. The ceremony involves a solemn palanquin procession, incense burning to honor the Buddha, and sacrifices to the revered Cao Son god. After the ceremony, visitors are welcome to engage in folk games or listen to “ca tru” songs, “cheo” or “Xam” singing styles imbued with the ancient capital’s identity.