Nearly five million pilgrims have traveled to Phu Tho Province to pay tribute to Hung Kings, the country’s legendary founding fathers, during their death anniversary this week.
Temples in the province, not far from Hanoi, started the festival five days before the main event on Tuesday, but many people had come here days before that.
Local officials estimated that the number of visitors hit five million as of the end of Monday.
Phu Tho authorities have deployed hundreds of police and military officers to maintain security during the festival.
They said there has been hardly any case of street snatching and overcharging.
Nguyen Thi Tuyet Chinh, deputy director of the province’s culture and tourism department, told Tuoi Tre newspaper there were several pick-pocketing incidents but the officers have dealt with them.
“There have been no traffic jams. Some tourists were still littering though,” Chinh said.
According to Vietnamese legends, the first Hung King was a son of a dragon father and a fairy mother who set up the country’s first government thousands of years ago.
He passed down the throne to 17 other Hung Kings before the control shifted in around 250 BC to another ruler named An Duong Vuong.
A ritual to offer incense and other sacred items to the kings were held on Tuesday morning.
People travel to the Hung temples under the baking sun. Photo credit: Tuoi Tre
The path to Hung temples cuts through a jungle on Nghia Linh mountain. Photo credit: VnExpress
People burn incense in front of a Hung temple. Photo credit: VnExpress
Many people still throw small changes into a holy well at the temple for luck despite a sign that asks them not to. Photo credit: VnExpress
A police officer assigned to maintain security during the festival. Photo credit: VnExpress
Shops and stores are given an area separate from the sacred area. Photo credit: VnExpress
A truck comes to collect garbage. Photo credit: Tuoi Tre
The Hung Kings' Square at the foot of the mountain where many cultural activities have been held during the time of the festival. Photo credit: VnExpress