|A corner of Tay Yen Tu Spiritual - Ecological Tourist Area. - Photo baobacgiang.com.vn
Provincial authorities yesterday held an opening ceremony at the Truc Lam Yen Tu Cultural Square in Thuong Yen Cong Ward, Uong Bi City.
Head of Uong Bi City’s Culture and Information Division Le Minh Quang said this year’s festival included a major art programme called Yen Tu Chao Xuan (Yen Tu Greeting Spring) with new performances.
Visitors to the festival will have the chance to enjoy traditional cultural activities such as dragon and unicorn dancing, traditional martial arts, flower displays, and admiring the Yen Tu yellow apricot flowers, Quang said.
|Buddhists offering incense before a procession at the Tay Yen Tu Festival. - VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Dat
Apart from traditional art programmes, they can also participate in folk games like cock fighting, tug of war, con (cloth ball) throwing and chess, Quang added.
In the days ahead of the festival, about 150,000 tourists visited Yen Tu Mountain, up 25 per cent year-on-year, according to the official.
Yen Tu Mountain is located about 50 kilometres from Ha Long City. The area has awe-inspiring scenery, surrounded by ancient pagodas.
The historical relics and landscapes complex includes a system of historical and cultural relics associated with the founding and development of Truc Lam Zen meditation in Vietnam.
These relics are located in the border area between the three provinces of Bac Giang, Hai Duong and Quang Ninh, including five historical and scenic sites of Dong Yen Tu in Uong Bi City, Tran Dynasty Zone, Quang Ninh Province, Tay Yen Tu in Bac Giang Province and Con Son-Kiep Bac-Thanh Mai in Hai Duong Province.
|An art performance to open the Yen Tu Spring Festival 2019. — VNA/VNS Photo Trung Nguyen
Tay Yen Tu festival
The Tay Yen Tu (Western Yen Tu) Spring Festival and the Culture-Tourism Week 2019 has also opened in Bac Giang Province.
The two events themed Khám phá vùng đất thiêng Tay Yen Tu(Discovering the Sacred Land of Tay Yen Tu) will take place from February 14 to 20 (from the 10th to 16th day of the first lunar month).
These spiritual, cultural and tourist events are organised to introduce the outstanding cultural values of Bắc Giang Province’s tourism, especially the cultural space of Trúc Lâm Zen Buddhist area in Tay Yen Tu region, to numerous domestic and foreign tourists, thus creating a breakthrough in attracting tourists, according to the province’s website baobacgiang.com.vn.
The events include activities such as the Buddhist statue procession, the opening of a culture-tourism camp, the award ceremony for a Bac Giang tourism photo contest and the launch of a photo contest on Tay Yen Tu.
|Spring festival season well underway in VietnamPart of a procession at the Yen Tu Spring Festival 2019 which opens on Thursday in the northern Quang Ninh Province’s Uong Bi City. VNA/VNS Photo Trung Nguyen
Among the highlights of the events are the opening of an exhibition on culture-tourism products of the Truc Lam Zen Buddhist sect in Tay Yen Tu and a display of Vinh Nghiem Pagoda’s woodblocks, which were recognised as part of the world documentary heritage of Asia-Pacific.
At the same time, Buddhist followers and tourists will have an opportunity to experience Soong hao singing of the Nung people and a "love market" in the highlands of Tan Son Commune, Bac Giang’s Luc Ngan District.
Tran Nhan Tong (1258-1308), the third King of the Tran Dynasty (1225-1400), ascended to the throne when he was just 21. He was famed for defeating Mongol invaders twice during his 15-year reign.
|Spring festival season well underway in VietnamThe Tay Yen Tu (Western Yen Tu) Spring Festival and the Culture-Tourism Week 2019 opens on Thursday in the Bac Giang Province. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Đat
The king abdicated when he was 35 and spent the rest of his life on Yen Tu Mountain practicing and propagating Buddhism. He founded the first Vietnamese School of Buddhism called Thien Tong or Truc Lam Yen Tu Zen on the 1,068m-high Yen Tu Mountain. The 20,000ha site is considered the capital of Vietnamese Buddhism.
Yen Tu became a major Buddhist Centre and King Tran Nhan Tong became its first leader under the religious name Dieu Ngu Giac Hoang-Tran Nhan Tong. He ordered the construction of hundreds of religious buildings on Yen Tu Mountains for teaching and following a religious life.
Besides temples, it also preserves many old religious and cultural documents such as precious prayer-books and monks’ writings.
Yen Tu was listed as a special national relic site in September 2012.