A couple performs the symbolic sexual union as part of the "Linh tinh tinh phoc" fesitval in Phu Tho Province
Traditional ceremonies in Vietnam are not generally known for their eroticism, so people are often to surprised to learn about a spring fertility festival held annually in Phu Tho Province.
At midnight on the 12th day of the first Lunar month, the Du Di temple in Phu Tho Province's Lam Thao District holds the only festival in northern Vietnam which is dedicated to a particular set of fertility rituals, reported The Thao Van Hoa newspaper.
During the "Linh tinh tinh phoc" ceremony all candles and lights are turned off. In the darkness, a happy married couple stands before an altar holding wooden representations of the male and female reproductive organs.
Then the old man in charge of caring for the temple repeats the mantra, "Linh tinh tinh phoc," three times.
Next, the husband attempts to thrust the wooden phallus into the wooden female orifice, which his wife holds expectantly. It is believed that if the phallus penetrates the yonic, there will be good crops that year.
The temple's custodian then announces: "thao khoan" (go and be free) and young men and women scamper into the temple's garden to do as they please until the lights are turned back on.
However, in modern times, the young people tend to merely chase each other around the garden symbolically, rather than copulate wildly as the tradition actually calls for.