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Annual Tich Dien ploughing festival opens in Ha Nam province

Attending the event was Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh. He praised the provincial authorities in restoring and preserving the annual ploughing festival, aiming at educating and promoting Vietnamese cultural values and encouraging the rural agricultural development.

He also asked Ha Nam province’s government, local authorities and relevant departments to restructure agricultural sector accompanied the implementation of new rural development; strengthen the supply chain collaboration; renew the production organization; enhance mechanization and competiveness; apply eco-friendly technologies to reach US$43 billion in agricultural export in this year to reach US$ 20 billion and complete the National Target Programs for New Rural Development 2016-2020.

The annual ploughing festival which falls on the 7th day of the first lunar month was revived for the first time in 2009.

According to historical records, the first Tich Dien festival was held in 987 AD during the reign of King Le Dai Hanh in the then capital Hoa Lu (in the northern province of Ninh Binh nowadays). Since then, kings went to Doi Son every spring to perform the plough rituals to pray for a year of favorable weather and a bumper crop seasons.

On the same day, the Hue Monuments Conservation Center organized a ceremony at Dai Noi (Hue imperial citadel) in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue’s Hue City to take down the Neu pole and re-enact the royal seal opening on the first days of the lunar New Year.

According to traditional customs, the Neu (a tall bamboo pole with red garment strips) is used to ward off evil spirits and direct ancestors seeking the path home during the lunar New Year. The ceremony to plant Neu pole is organized on the 23rd day of the 12th lunar month marks the beginning of Tet. The tree is taken down on the seventh day of the first lunar month to mark the end of the Tet celebration.

By VAN THANG, MAI AN – Translated by Kim Khanh