The Mountain God Worshipping Festival in Hanoi and the Tro Chieng Festival in northern Thanh Hoa province have been recently listed as national intangible cultural heritages by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

The festival honoring the worship of Tan Vien (God of the Mountain), one of the four immortals in Vietnamese legend, takes place annually on the 10thday of the first lunar month (February 25 this year) at a complex of Ha (Low), Trung (Middle) and Thuong (Upper) temples in Ba Vi district on the outskirts of Hanoi.

According to legend, Tan Vien, also known as Son Tinh, was the God of the Mountain and managed the land and protected the people. He taught them to grow crops, hunt animals, catch fish, practice martial arts, and organize festivals. His enemy was Thuy Tinh, the God of the Sea, who brought storms and flooding that damaged crops and killed people and animals. Tan Vien defeated Thuy Tinh in a contest to win the heart of Princess My Nuong, the daughter of the 18th Hung King, and as a god encourages people to fight natural disasters.

In Vietnamese folklore, Tan Vien is one of the four immortals, along with Chu Dong Tu, who was present on earth to save humankind from its suffering and teach people how to conduct business, fish, and weave, Saint Giong, who beat foreign invaders to protect the homeland, and Goddess Lieu Hanh, a deity in Mother Goddess worshipping.

The festival features traditional rituals, an incense offering ceremony, a local food market, folk games, sports, and music performances, attracting thousands of visitors. It is recognized as a national heritage to preserve and promote the religion and spiritual culture of the Ba Vi people in particular and the Vietnamese people in general.

Organized on the same day, the 10th day of the first lunar month, and lasting until the 12th day, the Tro Chieng Festival in Yen Ninh commune, Yen Dinh district in Thanh Hoa province is the most anticipated festival of the year in the province and has been held since the reign of the Ly Dynasty (1009-1225).

Imbued with royal cultural identities, the festival has been popularized and preserved. It reflects the labor of life, the struggle and dreams of the people, the fighting of foreign invaders, and the name General Trinh Quoc Bao, who made a great contribution to the fight against foreign invaders. To prepare to take on the foreign invaders, who used elephant troops, the General ordered his soldiers to build bamboo elephants to practice with. During the battle, fireworks were attached to the bamboo elephants and set off, which helped to secure victory.

Based on this, the festival features ritual processions and unique activities such as fireworks and bamboo elephant fights and dragon fights performed by villagers.