The dossier for nomination of the Saint Giong Festival as an intangible cultural heritage has been preliminarily approved to enter the second round of UNESCO assessment.
The result of the second round will be made public in June after advisory experts of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritages holds a meeting in Paris in May. The results of the final round will be announced at a meeting of the committee in Kenya in November.
The Saint Giong Festival is held annually from the 6th-12th of the fourth lunar month in several places within Hanoi. It commemorates Saint Giong, an ancient Vietnamese hero who defeated Chinese invaders around 250 BC.
According to the legend, once upon a time, a woman from Giong Village went to a rice field and saw the imprint of a giant foot. Curious, she stepped onto it. Not long after, she was pregnant and gave birth to a son she named Giong. He was weak and unable to walk or talk until the Chinese invaded and the sixth Hung King called on all people to resist the foreign army. At that time, he was three years old.
Giong then stood up and asked the villagers for food. He ate voraciously for three days straight and grew into a giant. The King then gave him an iron horse, which Giong brought to life and rode to battle the invaders. After defeating them, Saint Giong flew to heaven on his horse.
People say that he traveled from the heaven to the earth to save the country and flew back once the mission was completed.
Reported by Nguyen Viet Chien