KIEP BAC TEMPLE

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The Kiep Bac Temple is located in Hung Dao Commune, Chi Linh District, Hai Duong Province and is where people come to worship Tran Quoc Tuan, the main general of the Tran Dynasty. He was the general who defeated the Chinese Nguyen-Mong invaders three times. Because of his merits to the nation, he was proclaimed a saint.
To get to Kiep Bac Temple from Hanoi City, one has to take the National Highway that leads to Bac Ninh Township (about 30 km), then one has to go along the National Highway No.18 that stretches from Bac Ninh to Pha Lai, which eventually leads to Kiep Bac Temple. The Kiep Bac Temple Festival lasts from 15th day of the 8th month to the 20th day of 8th month of the lunar calendar.
A pilgrimage to the Kiep Bac Temple Festival has been deemed a centuries old Vietnamese custom where they honour Saint Tran. The main day of festival occurs on the 20th day of the 8th lunar month, but from the previous days onward, it attract visitors from everywhere. The main ceremony is followed by a great ceremony with elaborate worshipping procedures. This ceremony is followed next by a procession march where Saint Tran’s ancestral tablet is brought on a golden procession chair, passing three walled gates toward the river bank. The procession chair is then placed on a royal barge. The procession march lasts for 2 hours and Saint Tran’s ancestral tablet is then brought back to the main temple for the last religious service.
In the olden times, the religious services in Kiep Bac Temple Festival was simple and conducting a trance was the main activity. The festival has now been improved but it still bears the special characteristics of the traditional national identity. One of the most interesting activities in the festival is the boat race on the Luc Dau River where hundreds of boats participate. The boat race is like flying arrows rushing through the air as the boats are urged along by drumming sounds and the screaming of excited people. To take part on the Kiep Bac Temple Festival, visitors can relive the atmosphere when Tran Quoc Tuan placed his troops into a battle-array. This festival makes the Vietnamese people feel proud of the glorious traditions of their nation.

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