Dau An Temple Festival
Dau An temple locates on a dragon head land, belonging to An Xa hamlet, An Vien commune, Tien Lu district, Hung Yen province. This is the only temple in Vietnam where the Jade Emperor, the Heaven Spirit, the Earth Spirit and five fairies are worshipped. Dau An temple was officially recorded in historical book in 226 BC with the name of “Thuy Ung Tu”.
Up to now, Dau An temple has still existed up to now. Apart from ancient architecture, the temple has still preserved many aesthetic and artful ancient objects. The most outstanding are the emperor’s throne tower of clay made in the reign of Ly – Tran Dynasty, the stone plaque dating back to Vinh Tri date, the copper bell made in 1774, and so on.
Every year, Dau An temple festival is held from April 6th to April 12th (Lunar Calendar). The unique part of the festival is the palanquin procession of Thien Tien, Dia Tien and the performance of tiger fighting to protect the crops and bring happiness and prosperity for dwellers.
The game of fighting Tiger is also called the game of "Danh bet". In the past, people call Tiger "bet". There is another explanation as follow: When fighting tiger, Ms Kho sat down on the ground and got strength from new land so that she could defeat the tiger. The legend of fighting Tiger begins when the procession of heros from Thuong temple to Vo temple has gone around halfway. It represents chivalry and determination to eradicate wild beast to protect crop of residents from the past to now. People beleive that discharging the tiger from the village will create abundant crop.
The characters in the legend of fighting Tiger are Thien Bong Nguyen Suy, 02 athletes, frog catcher, Ms Kho and her child, 02 horses, kylin, etc. The Tiger's nest is prepared in the early morning by the residents; it is covered by the old green leaves of "si". When the game of fighting Tiger becomes sacred, the green leave of "si" becomes sacred object. Legend has it that it brings benignity and happiness for humans and crops. As a result, when the game finishes, people and tourists try to take the leaves so as to bring luck for their families.
Dau An temple festival is annually held in order to preserve and promote outstanding cultural values of our ancestors.