Dong nhan - Vietnam festival info
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Dong nhan

The festival belongs to Hai Ba Trung district, Ha Noi city. It often takes place after pleasant and cheerful days of Tet Nguyen Dan (traditional Tet) have finished for a short time.

People in Dong Nhan village continue animatedly to prepare fo the festival organized in Dong Nhan temple where worships two woman heroes to be Trung Trac and Trung Nhi. The temple ground is paved with Bat Trang bricks with three or four century - old trees and a stone tablet on which extensive Red river. The festival starts on the 5th of the second lunar month and officially on the 6th. Flowers, fruits, candles... are brought to offer the gods by neighbouring villages. They are put on food trays with red lacquer trimmed with gold.

Everybody come to kowtow in front ofthe altar while moils re reciting prayers, Buddhist woman devotees sometimes accompany a few tunes. Then, the officiating priest read funeral oration in the sounds of drums, gongs and music of the octet. The funeral praises merits of two heroes Trung Trac and Trung Nhi. This is an animated performance which coordinates many types of art.

In the morning of the 6th, the ceremony officially begin. The officiating priest read funeral oration again. After finishing each segment, the sound of drums, gongs reverberate. Music of octet alone does not stop anytime with tunes both be solemnly and agitatedly and upsetly. Twenty strong young men in neat costumes carry two statues of god into the sedan chair with red lacquer trimmed with gold ready on the ground. The ancestral tablets are brought to put in front of the sedan chair by ten beautiful girls for setting off the procession led by many flags. After that, are eight old men wearing blue clothes and holding a kind of weapon. Then are the octet and four woody horses linked with wheels under their feet following the procession. The procession even wades through the river even though the water rises equally to human chest. The persons who carry the sedan chair are attentive most. The sedan chair flows on the surface of water as lightly as a raft until touching a land surrounded by a lot of trees. All carriers have to ensure that during process of carrying the sedan chair through the river, it is always kept in a balance state in order not to make the bowl of joss -sticks or five - fruit tray fall down as well as to two statues inside. The cloth covering the sedan chair is not also made be wet. At the other side of the river, the sacrifice is implemented once more and then, people bring the god's statues back to Dong Nhan temple. Following the sedan chair is the lion -procession. In the festival, people together participate into many games such as bird fighting, cock fighting, swinging, tuong cheo singing and human chess. The human chess takes place on a large land including 16 boys in black clothes and 16 girls in red costumes. The competition of bird is done meticulously. Before attending the competition each bird is brought up extremely painstakingly in order to have its smooth feather its elegant voice and it is of resistance. And bird's cage also is an art - project embellished very well. All birds will compete to each other. Who win will be rewarded. Audiences comment passionately about the beauty of birds, of cages and praise the talent of person taking care of his birds in the bringing up and training the birds.

Below the shadow of some country - old trees, there are a few groups of singing like a trolling blind musician performing. Audiences surround them very crowded. Each group usually has three or four persons and the leader is often elder and blind. They are the poor and have to live homelessly. Their instruments are simple comprising a monochord a Chinese violin and a two - horse carriage. They often take with a copper vessel in order to contain rewarded money from audiences after each item on the programme. Sometimes, listeners require them to act again a section and they are usually ready to satisfy that requirement. They often sing old songs which everybody used to listen or know at least one time but they still like to listen again many times without feeling bored. These groups of singing like a trolling blind musician do their share in ornamenting for plentiful colours of Dong Nhan village festival.