Amazing Lieu Doi festival

Published:  09:14 Friday - July 08, 2016 Vietnam traditional martial arts are very diverse with many unique techniques and it expresses the spirit of Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism. And one of the most famous festival is Lieu Doi Wrestling and Martial arts Festival in Ha Nam.

In the 5th of first lunar month, there is a festival of wrestling to tribute the merit of the man named Doan who was good at martial art to fight against the enemy and save the country in the Lieu Doi village, Liem Tuc commune, Thanh Liem district, Ha Nam province.

The area that the wrestling appears is placed in the traditional land called Nuong Cui where the Doan man got the magic sword at the past. There are groups of traditional wrestling coming to join. Lieu Doi festival allows women to join, and they are the player with sword, cudgel, etc like men.

The beginning of the festival is the procession of God to the area (Dong): Dong is the place to hold the wrestling, the procession of God to the Dong means carrying the palanquin of God to the Dong. The offering objects are vegetarian, including the truncate cone of sticky rice; some banana and a glass of tea (replace the wine). There is an old man holding the mirror going backward to lead the procession. When the palanquin comes into the Dong, the offering begins. After the offering is fire starting ceremony. People light up a big fire in front of the Dong to tribute the magical blue fire, which was from the sword gifted for Lieu Doi land in Nuong Cui. Then, the ceremony of sending sword and kitting pink scarf will be hold.

Following is the ceremony of flag dancing which is also named “thien nhan ky tran”. This dance include two or four people, each has a red square flag coming from two sides of the palanquin and dance along the drum sound. Then, there will be the Thanh Dong ceremony. This ceremony started from the sound of drum along with the firecracker, bell, gong, in the Dong and all the pagodas and temples join in the crowded shouting for the festival.

After the above ceremonies, there will be the competitions of wrestling. Many traditional position of wrestling are used which are: holding armpit, focusing on side, etc. All are mysterious and extraordinary to let the audience being nervous. The sound of gong, drum is resounding. In wrestling, there are many forbidden positions for the property of harmful for life or wounding. The winner has to let the counter lying on their back or being carried up high from the ground.

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