Kiep Bac temple festival - one of the biggest festivals in our country, takes place annually in the fall from the 15th to the 20th of the eighth lunar month captivating tens of thousands people from everywhere to come here to go on pilgrimages.
Kiep Bac temple is located in Chi Linh district, Hai Duong province. This is a charming mountains and rivers area. The temple worships Hung Dao Vuong Tran Quoc Tuan - the national hero who was of great merit in the struggle against Mongolia invaders.
The 19th of the 8th lunar month is the principal day of the festival, the spectacle looks very animatedly and bustlingly. By Boats, by cars or by foot are main vehicles that pilgrims usually use. Tens of thousands people gather here to celebrate the national hero's merit and glorify inflexible strength of a country which is of tradition of opposing invaders. At the same time, they also travel to see beautiful sights here.
Kiep Bac temple is opposite Pha Lai river, behind it is Duoc Son mountain which is liken the shape to a bow as if it embraces the whole relic area. The temple comprises the upper temple, Tran Quoc Tuan's grave, the altars of his mother, his daughter and his son - in - law and the altars of Yet Kieu - Da Tuong - two familiar talent generals of fir Tran Quoc Tuan.
Old men in the rigion tell that, in formerly, in the annual festival representatives of the court come to attend the sacrifice. However, at that moment, main activities in the festival were in favour of sacrifice, offering, amulet and incantation, going into a trance... because they believed that Hung Dao Vuong Tran Quoc Tuan was not only the man of merit in releasing the country, but also a patron saint to women and children, a man of talent in abolishing devil and curing stublorn illnesses...
Nowadays, superstition has reduced much. This makes the festival become more significant and ensures its liveliness and distinguishedness. The festival starts with the offering joss stick of local power. The representative of local authority reads a lecture to glorify the merit of the national hero Tran Quoc Tuan as well as the victory of the fighting against Mongolia enemy and to call up our people's illustrious atmosphere more than seven hundred years ago and manifest our people's rallying spirits and patriotism.
After finishing the ceremony of offering joss -stick, the performance of national games attracts hundreds of participants, among which, the most distinguished is boat race. The boats run as fast as a shot in the stream with sounds of observers' acdaimation along two sides.
The romantic landscape here is also keen on a lot of pilgrims. Sailing boat on Pha Lai river can see the whole landscape. If you climb to Due Son mountain, you can sit with relatives in grandiose natural setting, under shadow of trees and autumn sunshine. Tourists can also see films, dramas, or "cheo" with their content closing to the festival or witness pickets which used to pierce closing to the festival or witness pickets which used to pierce through the general O Ma Nhi's warships which or see battlefield sketch of Tran Quang Khai, Tran Quoc Tuan in the museum.
Coming back from Kiep Bac temple, you may buy necklaces or bracelets made of copper and wood to souvenir or give them to your friends or relatives.