Festival of Goddess Temple at Co Nhue Commune, Hanoi


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Located in Vien group, Co Nhue commune, Tu Liem district, Hanoi, Anh Linh pagoda and Lord temple are two architectural and cultural relics associated with historic events under Tran dynasty against Nguyen Mong invaders as well as the work of gathering people and building Viet Co citadel in Co Nhue commune with great merit of princess Tuc Trinh (daughter of king Tran Thanh Tong). Every year, the festival for death anniversary of Tuc Trinh princess is held from 30th of July to 1st of August.

Thereafter the death anniversary of Tuc Trinh princess is held by two villages: An Hoi and Co Nhue. At night 30th of July , the gate opening ceremony is annually held. From 11pm to 1 am on 1st of August, the ceremony of washing statue is taken place by a village elder who wears traditional costume: turban, loose trousers, ao dai, and shoes; all is in red color. The village elder on behalf of the whole village must follow taboos: vegetarian for a month, not sleeping with women, etc. The sacred water used in washing statue ceremony is pure rain water that is cooked with 5 aromas. Those who cooks the sacred water is women and also follow taboos as the village elder. Before ceremony, the elder washes his hands, sprinkling perfume on his body, rubbed on  face, head and hands.

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After the ceremony of washing princess’s statue, old offerings are burn and new ones instead. People here scramble the princess’s old clothes to place it on their ancestors’ altar with meaning: with the miracle of Goddess, families’ business will flourish, avoid all the bad things or they wear it on their children’s wrists, legs or neck to avoid ghosts at night.

After the ceremony of washing statue, next sacrifice is taken place, a man reads funeral oration with content of praising merit of the princess Tuc Trinh to Co Nhue village, pray for blessing of God, Buddha, Saints, and Goddess.

On the morning of 1st of August, the sacrifice of Buddha takes place at Anh Linh pagoda, then comes to  Goddess’s temple for eye-opening ceremony. On this day, people sacrifice six offerings: incense, flowers, tea, fruits, light, and food. The food ceremony includes rice cooked with brown rice, sesame salt, black canarium, soya sauce, green bean soup; then and peanut candies. At night, the temple organizes “chèo” singing, Vietnamese traditional drama (tuồng), lion dance, dragon dance, etc.

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