Festival of Lang Temple, Hanoi


hoi chua lang

The festival of Lang temple is organized on 7th of March at a temple of Lang village, Lang Thuong ward, Dong Da district, Hanoi. According to legend, it is birthday of Zen Master Tu Dao Hanh who is worshipped in the Lang temple.

According to old writings, the Lang festival was not annually held, but it was held every 10 years, especially in period of favorable weather, country in peace, prosperity. The festival is held at the same day of Thay pagoda festival where zen masters enter meditation. The work of preparation for festival is very careful, for example, it must have enough fireworks to display in half of hour, 18 young men are chosen to procession palanquin, they all still mourn as the mourning of Father Tu Vinh.

On 5th of March, the festival begins, Saint’s palanquin is moved to Nen pagoda where he was born. In next day, Saint procession comes to Tam Huyen pagoda in Moc village for the visiting of his father. These two days only organize procession of incense bowl but not statue procession. At night of 6th, the statue procession is carried out in the octagonal house in order that the Saint enjoy beautiful dance of ten girls in gorgeous clothes.  On 7th of March, main festival has a big procession with two large flags leading and followed by two rows of gongs and drums.

hoi chua lang 2

The Lang festival actually is a spring festival of a region of many villages near two banks of To Lich river. From pagoda to main road, the procession goes slowly but when coming out the village entrance, it goes faster. The festival has both ceremony for Saint, for Buddhist and for King which symbolize three life changes of Zen master Tu Dao Hanh.

What makes the unique distinction of the festival is form of God performances. The procession stops in front of entrance of Thanh To temple, fireworks display, and then followed by a series of rocket. At 12 noon, the  procession goes quickly to the Ca temple.

That night “cheo” singing takes place. The Lang festival shows lively activities of Vietnamese people under Ly dynasty.  Society tells us that Lang has vividly the activities of the Vietnamese Ly dynasty. Moreover, the Lang festival is located in form of festival customs in region surrounding Thang Long citadel. Experiencing many generations, it has contributed to the process of cultural activities in the whole rich and unique rituals..

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