The Tan Vien (the God of the Mountain) festival opened on February 13 (or the 14th day of the first lunar month), in Hanoi’s district of Ba Vi, attracting a crowd of visitors from all regions of the country.
Besides a traditional ritual and an incense offering ceremony held in the relic site of Ha (Low), Trung (Middle) and Thuong (Upper) temples, many folk games, sports and performances were organised.
Legend in the northern delta has it that Tan Vien, also called Son Tinh, was the God of the Mountain and governed all creatures on land. He taught people to grow crops, hunt animals, catch fish, practise martial arts and hold festivals.
Opposite to Son Tinh was Thuy Tinh, the God of the Sea, responsible for the rising water levels that damaged crops, destroyed animals and drowned people. Son Tinh beat Thuy Tinh in a competition to win the heart of Princess My Nuong who was the daughter of the King Hung XVIII.
Tan Vien embodies the aspiration to triumph over natural disasters, especially floods.
The same day, a festival dedicated to him also opened in Va temple in Son Tay town. The festival will run until February 16.
In Vietnamese folklore, Tan Vien is one of the four immortals, along with Chu Dong Tu, Saint Giong and Goddess Lieu Hanh. The God of the Mountain is worshiped in many localities in Ba Vi district.-VNA