Unlocking Heritage: Ninh Binh Traditional Festivals

IndochinaMotorcycleTour

Last Update 04 May 2024

Ninh Binh, as known as the land of Hoa Lu Ancient Capital is a place that marks the nation’s heroic history, and possesses a treasure of rich and unique cultural heritage. In particular, traditional festivals play an important role in preserving and preserving local cultural identity, and are also an attraction for domestic and foreign tourists. Let’s join the best motorbike tours in Vietnam to “unlock” the unique Ninh Binh traditional festivals to discover the unique cultural beauty here.

Hoa Lu Ancient Capital Festival

  • Time: 15th February or 6th – 10th March (Lunar Calendar)
  • Location: Hoa Lu Ancient Capital, Truong Yen, Ninh Binh.

The Hoa Lu Ancient Capital Festival is one of the most significant Ninh Binh traditional festivals that commemorates the reign of the Dinh and Le dynasties who established Hoa Lu as the ancient capital. During this annual event, the ancient citadel of Hoa Lu comes alive with vibrant reenactments, traditional music and dance performances, and colorful processions that transport attendees back in time. Visitors can explore the historical relics and soak in the atmosphere that echoes the grandeur of Vietnam’s formative years.

Journey back to the start-up days of the Dinh-Le Dynasty through lively performances and tableaus

Journey back to the start-up days of the Dinh-Le Dynasty through lively performances and tableaus

The Hoa Lư Ancient Capital Festival is more than just a celebration; it is a profound connection to the past, a reminder of the resilience and strength of the Vietnamese people. It is an opportunity to immerse oneself in the vibrant tapestry of Ninh Binh’s culture, to witness the preservation of ancient traditions, and to experience the unwavering spirit that has shaped the nation’s history.

Bai Dinh Pagoda Festival

  • Time: 6th January – The end of March (Lunar Calendar)
  • Location: Bai Dinh Pagoda, Gia Sinh, Gia Vien, Ninh Binh.

Renowned as the “Buddhist Capital of Vietnam,” Ninh Binh not only boasts breathtaking natural landscapes but also captivates visitors with vibrant Ninh Binh traditional festivals. Among these, the Bai Dinh Pagoda Festival stands out as a radiant gem, drawing throngs of pilgrims and tourists from all corners of the globe during the spring season.

A sacred atmosphere spreads throughout the temple grounds during the Bai Dinh Pagoda Festival

A sacred atmosphere spreads throughout the temple grounds during the Bai Dinh Pagoda Festival

The Bai Dinh Pagoda Festival transcends the realm of spirituality to emerge as a captivating tourist destination, beckoning travelers from near and far. As you embark on this festive journey, not only will you seek blessings and good fortune, but you will also delve into the captivating cultural tapestry and the warm hospitality of Ninh Binh’s people.

Great King Thanh Minh Traditional Festival

  • Time: 18th March (Lunar Calendar)
  • Location: Tran Temple, Minh Hai, Hoa Lu, Ninh Binh.

Nestled amidst the picturesque landscapes of Ninh Binh, Vietnam, the Great King Thanh Minh Traditional Festival emerges as a poignant tribute to ancestral lineage and a vibrant tapestry of cultural heritage. Held annually on the 18th March following the Lunar Calendar, this solemn occasion draws upon the deep-rooted traditions of the region, offering a profound connection to the past and a celebration of filial piety.

The Golden Dragon Parade simulates the once glorious reign of King Ly Nhan Tong

The Golden Dragon Parade simulates the once glorious reign of King Ly Nhan Tong

This is one of the Ninh Binh traditional festivals aptivates visitors not only with its spiritual significance but also with its distinctive water procession, sacrificial ceremony, and fish release ritual along the Sao Khe River. The sight of thousands of boats partaking in the procession creates a vibrant yet solemn scene, deeply rooted in local culture.

The water procession embarks from the Hạ Lâm Temple, traversing over 5 kilometers along the picturesque Sào Khê River, winding through 11 mystical caves. Upon passing the 11 caves, the procession divides into two branches. One branch continues along the river to perform sacrificial rites. The other branch docks and proceeds with a land procession, crossing three mountains over a 3-kilometer distance to reach the Noi Lam Temple.

Thai Vi Temple Festival

  • Time: 14th – 17th March (Lunar Calendar)
  • Location: Van Lam, Ninh Hai, Hoa Lu, Ninh Binh.

Located in Ninh Hai, Hoa Lu district, Ninh Binh province, Thai Vi Temple Festival is one of the unique traditional festivals and attracts many tourists every year. This is one of the most famous Ninh Binh traditional festivals of March (following the Lunar Calendar). The festival is held on the 14th and 15th day of the third lunar month to commemorate the great contributions of the Tran Dynasty kings, especially King Tran Thai Tong, who publicly established the dynasty and chose Hoa Lu as his capital. capital and built Thai Vi temple.

Artists recreate ancient astronomical observation methods on the occasion of the Thai Vi Temple Festival.

Artists recreate ancient astronomical observation methods on the occasion of the Thai Vi Temple Festival.

The unique highlight of the Thai Vi Temple Festival is the extremely solemn and impressive palanquin procession. The palanquin procession takes place in the morning, with the participation of more than 30 palanquins from villages and communes in the area. Each palanquin has its own meaning, expressing respect and gratitude to the Tran kings. In the afternoon, exciting cultural and sports activities will take place such as: sailing competitions, human chess, wrestling,…

Ky Phuc Festival at Cam Gia Communal House

  • Time: 12th October (Lunar Calendar)
  • Location: Cam Gia Communal House, Ninh Khanh, Ninh Binh.

The Cam Gia Communal House, a historic structure dating back to the 17th century, serves as the focal point of the festival. This architectural masterpiece, with its intricate wood carvings and traditional Vietnamese design, provides a stunning backdrop for the festivities, transporting visitors to a time when communal gatherings and shared cultural expressions were at the heart of rural life.

The solemn ceremonial atmosphere of Ky Phuc festival at Cam Gia village communal house

The solemn ceremonial atmosphere of Ky Phuc festival at Cam Gia village communal house

One of the festival’s highlights is the reenactment of ancient rituals and ceremonies that pay homage to the village’s patron deities and ancestors. Elders and spiritual leaders lead these solemn proceedings, invoking blessings and seeking guidance from the spiritual realm. Visitors can witness the profound reverence and deep-rooted beliefs that have been passed down through generations, serving as a testament to the enduring cultural legacy of Ninh Binh’s rural communities.

Ban Non Khe Newspaper Festival

  • Time: 14th January (Lunar Calendar)
  • Location: Non Khe, Yen Tu, Yen Mo, Ninh Binh.

Ban Non Khe Newspaper Festival is one of the unique Ninh Binh traditional festivals, providing opportunities for villagers to relax and participate in poetry competitions. More interestingly, people living far from home can also submit poems to the contest, which will be recited by the organizers or converted into folk songs to sing. This poetry night takes place on the night of January 13, and is familiarly called the “Arts Evening”.

 Ban Non Khe Newspaper Festival is one of the famous traditional festivals in Ninh Binh

Ban Non Khe Newspaper Festival is one of the famous traditional festivals in Ninh Binh

When participating in the festival, you also have the opportunity to experience two markets on the evening of January 12 and 13, where Ninh Binh specialties such as banh duc, banh gai, vermicelli noodles, mountain goat meat, and Yen Mac fermented pork roll are sold. , burnt rice in goat sauce… With many stalls and traditional dishes, the festival attracts thousands of visitors. Non Khe Ban Bao Festival combines solemnity and sacredness with a vibrant, cozy atmosphere. Many people participate in the festival to pray for good luck and hope for a more prosperous new year.

Nguyen Cong Tru Temple Festival

  • Time: 14th – 16th November (Lunar Calendar)
  • Location: Quang Thien, Kim Son, Ninh Binh.

The Nguyen Cong Tru Temple Festival is the largest event for the residents of Kim Son District, Ninh Binh, honoring the contributions of Nguyen Cong Tru. The festival is conducted with solemnity, adhering to government regulations, and the main ceremony involves offering incense at the temple. Hundreds of ritual groups from villages across the district participate in ceremonies such as the Opening Ceremony, Main Anniversary, and Closing Ceremony, which follow a traditional sequence over three days.

The Nguyen Cong Tru Temple Festival last for 3 days

The Nguyen Cong Tru Temple Festival last for 3 days

The festivities include vibrant activities like boat races on the Vac River, a distinctive feature of the festival in the coastal plains. Additionally, folk games such as cockfighting and pot-breaking, as well as modern sports like basketball and volleyball, are popular and draw many participants. This festival is known as one of the most famous Ninh Binh traditional festivals.

La Temple Festival

  • Time: 13rd – 15th January (Lunar Calendar)
  • Location: La Phu, Yen Thanh, Yen Mo, Ninh Binh.

The La Temple Festival is a vibrant celebration that encapsulates the rich cultural heritage of La Phu village. Divided into two distinct parts, the ceremonial and the festive segments, the festival offers a captivating blend of spirituality and entertainment. However, the most anticipated and colorful part of the festival is the festive portion, featuring traditional games such as swinging, chess, singing, and word guessing, with uniquely designed performances. A distinctive aspect of the festival is the offering of “Xôi Vựng,” a type of sticky rice made from the finest and most fragrant white glutinous rice. Villages compete in preparing the best xôi for offering.

Ba La palanquin procession through the tree-lined road during the La Temple Festival

Ba La palanquin procession through the tree-lined road during the La Temple Festival

The La Temple Festival is a cherished cultural and spiritual tradition for the people of La Phu Village. It provides an opportunity to pay homage to ancestors and express gratitude for their legacy. With its blend of ceremonial and festive activities, the festival has long attracted visitors from far and wide to experience its unique charm.

>>> Let’s read the previous topic: Best things to do in Ninh Binh 

Saint Nguyen Temple Festival

  • Time: 8th – 10th March (Lunar Calendar)
  • Location: Diem Village, Gia Thang, Gia Tien, Gia Vien, Ninh Binh.

Another festival in the list of Ninh Binh traditional festivals in March is The Saint Nguyen Temple Festival. This festival takes place annually from the 8th to the 10th of the lunar month of March, coinciding with the Hoa Lu Ancient Capital Festival. It is an occasion for the local people to express reverence and gratitude to Saint Nguyen Minh Khong, a distinguished figure from the Gia Vien region. The main festival is typically held every 5 or 10 years, depending on local economic conditions.

Ninh Binh Traditional Festivals: Saint Nguyen Temple

The performances express the soul of the Saint Nguyen Temple Festival

Like other traditional festivals, the Saint Nguyen Temple Festival consists of two main parts: the ceremonial portion and the festive portion. During the festive portion, locals and visitors can participate in various traditional games such as tug-of-war, 32-piece chess, cockfighting, as well as lively sports competitions like volleyball and soccer. These activities provide opportunities for locals to engage, socialize, and enjoy festive entertainment.

Dich Long Pagoda Festival

  • Time: 6th – 7th March (Lunar Calendar)
  • Location: Dich Long Pagoda, Gia Thanh, Gia Vien, Ninh Binh.

Dich Long Pagoda Festival distinguishes itself through the harmonious blend of spiritual values and the majestic beauty of its natural setting. Dich Long Pagoda is the festival’s epicenter, gracefully resting amidst the limestone mountains, exuding an aura of serenity and sacredness. This festival unfolds in an atmosphere of reverence and devotion, marked by traditional rituals such as the Buddha procession, incense offerings, fervent prayers, and the release of flower lanterns.

Ninh Binh Traditional Festivals:  Dragon boat

Dragon boat procession on the river

Pilgrims and tourists venturing to Dich Long Pagoda Festival are not only immersed in spiritual practices but also presented with an opportunity to explore Ninh Binh’s breathtaking natural wonders. From the vantage point of Dich Long Pagoda, one can marvel at the towering limestone mountains, the meandering rivers, and the emerald rice paddies that paint the landscape. The festival also features a vibrant array of recreational activities, including volleyball, badminton, tug-of-war, and boat racing, drawing enthusiastic participation from both locals and visitors.

The Ninh Binh traditional festivals offer a rich tapestry of cultural experiences, blending the region’s historical and spiritual heritage with vibrant celebrations. Each festival showcases the unique customs, games, and rituals that have been passed down through generations. Whether you’re seeking a peaceful spiritual retreat or an opportunity to immerse yourself in local culture, Ninh Binh’s festivals provide a captivating glimpse into the heart and soul of Vietnam. Come and join Ninh Binh motorbike tours with us!

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