Every year, Dai Lo temple festival is held in Dai Lo temple, Dai Lo Pagoda and Quan temple in ten days from 1st to 10th February (lunar calendar) at Ninh So commune, Thanh Tri district, Hanoi. The festival honors 4 “National Mother Saints”, they are is Mother of heaven, Mother of nature, Mother of sea and Mother of land and preserves cultural beauty of long traditional Mother Saint worship in Vietnam.
The Dai Lo temple 15 km from the south of city center was built under Tran Dynasty, about 700 years ago. Around the establishment of temple and this traditional festival has many different studies, but the village elderly still orally transmit a hidden mystery with full of pride.
In the past, the village dyke in Ninh So broken, the villagers found ways to restore but unsuccessful. Then the King himself together with villagers came to the Nhi Ha river to pray for saving the dyke, villagers asked for building a temple to worship. At that time, there were two snakes suddenly appearing, slowly connected its tails together, thus the part of dyke was successfully restored and never broke again. Therefore, immediately above altars in the Dai Lo Temple are decorated by two snakes curled up on the beam.
Main festival activities on 6th February: in the morning, the procession ceremony from Dai Lo Pagoda to Dai Lo temple, followed by a team of female for Saint procession. In the afternoon, male priests from Dai Lo temple and neighbor villagers sacrifice Saint. This activities honor and commemorate the merit of 4 “National Mother Saints”. During the festival, there are other traditional games such as Chinese chess, tug of war, football, traditional opera, etc.
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