The Lord Giong festival (or Phu Dong festival) is one of the biggest in Northern delta. This festival re-acts about the old story about how the Lord Giong fought and defeated the aggressors An.From Hanoi, people have to go through Gia Lam District on the National Route No.1 towards Bac Ninh Province and then to Duong River. Then turn right and go along the dyke for 7 kilometres. Standing on the dyke, we can see Thuong Temple, an old and grand temple. This is the place where the Lord Giong-Phu Dong Thien Vuong is worshipped.
According to some traditional records, Giong was born very strangely. His mother saw a huge footstep in the field and tried her foot on. Coming back home, she got pregnant and gave birth to the little boy named Giong. For the first three years, he couldn’t say or smile. When the country was in danger of invasion, he asked the king to forge an iron horse, an armour and a cane for him and turned into a giant. He ate up seven and three broad flat drying baskets of rice and egg-plant. Then he rode the horse and fought against the aggressors. Finally, after got rid off the enemy, he galloped to the Soc Mountain, taking off the armour and flying into the sky.
This legendary focuses on the patriotism of Vietnamese young people.
The architecture itself shows that the temple was constructed in the XI century under the Ly Dynasty. Every year on April 9th (lunar calendar), people from all parts of the country take part in this festival. The Lord Giong festival takes place on a large-scale area of 3 kilometres including Thuong (upper) Temple, Mau (mother) Temple and Kien So Pagoda.
Giong festival starts from the sixth April. Villagers often march in a procession with flags to Mau Temple and plain rice to Thuong Temple.
The 9th is the main day of Giong festival. For beginning of the festival, they march flag from Mau (mother) to Thuong (upper) temple and corps of Giong will perform their ranks and army jerks follow beat of drum, gong.
The 10th is a day for reviewing troops and inspecting armament, also holding an worship for thanking for the Lord Giong.
On the 11th there is a worship for washing festival.
On the 12th march in a procession of pitching flag to see there are whether any surviving rebels on the battle.
Among festivals in Hanoi, Giong festival can be regarded as the greatest one. It is also an opportunity for participants to witness the ritual ceremonies. People can also feel the multi-lateral relationships between village and State, individual and community, past and present, reality and unreality, heaven and earth, which are all kept up and handed down to many generations.