Nguyen Tieu festival

Tra Vinh is an area where many ethnic groups live together, the largest of which are the Kinh, Khmer and Hoa ethnic groups.

The Tra Vinh Hoa community preserves quite unique traditional folk beliefs and festivals, typically the worship of Quan Thanh De, the worship of Godhead and the belief of Bao Sinh Dai. In particular, Phuoc Thang palace located in Me Rach B hamlet, Dai An commune, Tra Cu district is a religious base to worship Bao Sinh the Great with the famous Nguyen Tieu Thang Hoi, attracting the local community and a large number of residents. Chinese people all over the southern provinces and cities together to attend.

Today, the Nguyen Tieu Thang Festival, also known as the Festival of Offering Ong Bao, in Dai An (Tra Cu) is one of the typical folk festivals of the Tra Vinh ethnic community, recognized by the Culture, Sports and Tourism sectors. Sports and Tourism is planned as a spiritual and cultural address in the chain of tourist attractions in the area along the Hau river in Tra Cu district.

Mr. Bao or Bao was born the great emperor, whose real name was Ngo Ban, commonly known as Ngo Chan Nhan, from the Song Dynasty in China. He was a great physician with integrity and integrity, whole life devoted to the health of the people, not seeking fame, fortune, or power. Therefore, after his death, Ngo Chan Nhan was worshiped by the Chinese people as the Great Emperor Bao and was named Dai Dao Chan Nhan by later dynasties.

If Quan Thanh De is a typical saint of gentlemanly mettle, and the god of good fortune is the guarantor of a place of residence and a prosperous business, then Emperor Bao Sinh is the god of health. This folk belief is wholeheartedly worshiped and worshiped by generations of overseas Chinese in the South in general and in Tra Vinh in particular.

Phuoc Thang Palace is the only place of worship to worship Bao Sinh Great Emperor in Tra Vinh, so it is also known as Ong Bao Pagoda. This temple is built in the style of "foreign internal affairs" of the Chinese people. The overall plan consists of two buildings, the Front Hall and the Main Hall, located parallel to each other facing south, where there is a small river that connects to the Hau River. On the two sides are two rows of East Lang and West Lang facing the two main buildings, forming a closed construction. In general, the front hall and the main hall are artistic architectures with traditional Chinese style. The frame of the house is made of precious wood, delicately carved and painted with gilded lacquer, creating a majestic atmosphere of the place of worship. The roof of lapis lazuli and yin and yang tiles with curved blades decorated with two dragons adoring the moon,

Phuoc Thang main hall worships Bao Sinh Dai Emperor in the altar between some gods in the altar of the left and right, such as Quang Trach Ton Vuong, Phuoc Duc Chinh God, the Five Gods, Tam Binh Patriarch. In addition, in the temple grounds, the management board also included many divine and immortal Buddhas such as Shakyamuni Buddha, Dat Ma Patriarch, Nineteen Seven Patriarchs, Tien Hien - Post-Sage, Ba Chua Xu, Neakta... This is a unique phenomenon of mixed beliefs, showing cultural exchange and solidarity between ethnic groups living in the locality.

Around Phuoc Thang palace in Dai An commune (now divided into Dai An commune, Dinh An commune and Dinh An town) there are many temples, communal houses and shrines forming a complex of religious establishments. interrelated beliefs.

In a year, at Phuoc Thang palace, there are many sacrifice ceremonies, but the most important one is Nguyen Tieu Thang Hoi, also known as Ong Bao festival, which takes place in two days of the full moon and sixteenth of the first lunar month. The script is pretty tight.

In the early morning of the full moon day of January, with all sincerity, Dai An people brought offerings and cleaned up the inside and outside decoration of the temple, preparing for the opening  ceremony . At noon, this first ritual is conducted. The advisor played the role of celebrant, along with the members of the board of directors and the elders gathered in front of the altar to offer incense, offerings and vows, to pay respects to Monsignor Bao Sinh the Great and the gods on the day of the death of the Emperor. Come, invite the gods to come and live, witnessing the sincerity of the people. After the opening ceremony, the Nguyen Tieu festival officially begins.

Right after that, in the ordination booths, the villagers conducted the ceremony of praying for peace, the sacrifice of the  Forerunner (Tien sien - post sage), the goddess of Chua Xu and the sacrifice of Neakta . These rituals show respect, cultural exchange - beliefs between ethnic groups living together and attract more people to attend the festival, regardless of Chinese, Kinh or ethnic people. Khmer; followers of the religion worshiping Mr. Bao or fellow Buddhists.

In the afternoon, the atmosphere inside Phuoc Thang Palace is bustling, preparing to conduct the Holy  Spirit ceremony , also known as the  procession ceremony.. This is both a ceremony and a form of folk performance for everyone to participate in. At exactly 18 o'clock, the celebrant and the elders gathered in front of the altar to worship his lordship, and offered to bring the statue of Lord Bao to the great emperor, Quang Trach Ton Vuong, and Phuoc Duc, the main god, on a golden palanquin. Immediately after, three horns sounded, signaling the beginning of the procession. Opening the way was a troupe of sacred soldiers, including dozens of bare-back teenagers dressed up in jars, coloring products, holding torches or tree branches, walking and running, dancing their hands and feet. Next is a team of lions and dragons dancing to the rhythm of the drums. On the way, the unicorn group can visit the houses on both sides of the road, receive offerings and give blessings to the owners. Following the lion team are two middle-aged people dressed in dignified costumes, walking side by side, one holding a large lantern with the word Phuoc Thang bow, a person holding the zodiac animal icon in the lunar new year. Behind continued to be the alum team, the pennant team, the lantern and torch team, the colorful Ong flag team.

A few dozen meters away is the yin binh palanquin, with pots of rice and salt mixed together. As soon as they go, people on the palanquin will scatter salted rice outside, implying exorcism and disease for the villagers.

The center of the procession is the splendidly decorated Ong palanquin walking between two rows of troops, each row of eight people, holding weapons taken from the hole in front of the altar of Bao Sinh Dai De, escorted by the Lau con resounding orchestra. great sound. At the end, the villagers and visitors from all over the world return to attend the festival.

Departing from Phuoc Thang Palace, the procession headed to Bao An Temple, which worships Thien Hau near Dai An market. The celebrant and the elders enter the temple to perform the worshiping ceremony, then invite the Holy Mother, symbolized by the incense burner in front of the altar to worship Thien Hau up and sit on the Ong palanquin. The fact that the Monsignor and the Holy Mother both sat on a palanquin in the middle of the procession, expressed the desire for yin and yang to harmonize, all things to flourish, and the villagers to be long and full. The procession continues to move to the Cao Dai Holy Family to the main hall of sacrifice, then continue to move to the Khmer Phon Don temple (Chua Co) to worship the Buddha. The Nghinh Ong ritual implies bringing Monsignor Bao Sinh the Great (Chinese belief) to debut, greet the Cao Dai saints (the Kinh religion) and the Buddha (the Khmer religion), show harmony. , filial piety,

On the paths that the procession passes, families, regardless of ethnicity or religion, set up incense tables in front of the alley to welcome the Lord. When Ong's palanquin arrived, the old and young in the house gathered in front of the incense burner, burned incense to make a few vows and received some salted rice, as a "holy blessing" that Ong Bao gave birth to the great emperor to the villagers.

Although the distance was just over 5 km both going and returning, but due to performing many forms of folk performances, the group went very slowly, until after midnight, they returned to Phuoc Thang palace.

After returning to Phuoc Thang palace, the ceremony of  An position  was conducted. The celebrant and the elders invited Monsignor Bao to give birth to the great emperor and the gods on the palanquin to return and sit on the altar.

On the morning of the sixteenth of January, the last ritual of Nguyen Tieu winning the festival, the  Thanksgiving ceremony,  was conducted. When a large number of villagers and guests from all over the world gathered in front of the altar to worship Bao Sinh the Great in the main hall, the celebrant burned incense and offered sacrifices to express his gratitude. In the past year, the great emperor Bao was born, the gods and goddesses bless the nation and the people, the rain is favorable and windy, the crops are good, the people are warm and happy.

The traditional victory festival at Phuoc Thang palace (Dai An, Tra Cu) is a festival derived from the typical folk beliefs of the Southern Chinese people. Over time, this festival has become a common cultural property, valuable to strengthen the solidarity of the Kinh, Khmer and Hoa Tra Vinh ethnic communities, while expressing the long-term desire for prosperity and happiness of the people. People.




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