Giong Festival in Vietnam


Giong Festival is annually celebrated in spring time at several parts of Hanoi in order to commemorate Saint Giong, one of the four immortals of Vietnam. He is a great hero in Vietnam’s mythology, with his splendid merit in defending the country against foreign enemies.

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Where is the Giong Festival?

According to cultural experts, the festivals held in Phu Dong Temple (where Saint Giong was born) and Soc Temple (where he ascended to heaven) are the most meaningful and notable, which have been recognized by UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage of mankind.

This cultural event is unique in that it is completely preserved and continuously passed on through generations despite fluctuations of time. Depending on destinations, the festival takes place in different occasions in the year.

The Giong Festival at Soc Temple
Time: 6th-8th day of 1st lunar month
Purpose: commemorate Saint Giong, hope for abundant harvests and happy lives

Festival Activities:

Ceremonies: cleaning Saint Giong’s statue, processions, incense offerings
Entertaining activities: playing folk games, enjoying traditional singings  
Located on Soc Son District, Phu Linh Commune is the place where Saint Giong took the last rest before he ascended to heaven. With the hope for abundant harvests and happier lives, Soc Son’s Giong Festival is celebrated during 3 days from the 6th to the 8th of the first lunar month with ceremonies ranking from ‘khai quang’ (‘bathing’ the Saint’s statue) to processions and incense offerings.

Before the festival actually starts, a special ritual is conducted on the 5th in which villagers invite Saint Giong to come back with full of well prepared oblations. On the 6th at midnight, Saint Giong’s statue is cleaned in the presence of villagers as well as pilgrims. The main festive day is on the 7th day, the day when Saint Giong sanctified, in which processions of bamboo flowers to Soc temple are offered and reproduction of slaying the invaders’ general is performed.
In addition, the festival provides its goers a chance to immerse themselves in abundance of entertaining activities, including gleeful folk games and traditional singing performances.

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