Chaos in northern Vietnam as thousands flock to Hung Kings temple

Thanh Nien News

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A traditional ceremony to honor Hung Kings, Vietnam’s legendary founding fathers, turned chaotic on Saturday morning as tens of thousands of pilgrims jostled to enter the Hung Temple in the northern province of Phu Tho.
At 8:20 a.m., a large crowd tried to climb the narrow stairs to Nghia Linh Mountain, where the temple is located, to offer incense and other sacred items to the kings.
Some women fainted and were given first aid. Many children cried in fear.
The Hung Kings festival, which has been recognized by UNESCO as intangible world heritage, is traditionally celebrated on the tenth day of the third lunar month. Many Vietnamese people visit the Hung Temple to acknowledge their origins and pray to the nation's ancestors for success, luck and health.
It is also a public holiday.
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.
This year, the number of pilgrims traveling to the Hung Temple was much higher than in the past.
Photos credit: Nguyen Khanh/Tuoi Tre. The original article in Vietnamese language can be found here.

Women carry sacred items to worship the Hung Kings. 
After police open the last barrier, the crowd rushes to climb up to the Hung Temple. 
 A police officer helps a woman.

Another woman faints. 

A boy sitting on his father’s shoulders cries in fear. 

 A girl is taken out of the crowd to ensure her safety.

Police officers take two boys out of the crowd. 

 A man brings a boy out of the crowd.

Police help an elderly woman walk through the crowd. 

 This year, the number of pilgrims traveling to the Hung Temple was much higher than in the past.

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