Back to Blog
As Vietnamese, we always show deep gratitude towards our origins and ancestors. Annually, the death anniversary of Hung Kings is celebrated on the 10th of March (lunar month)
Hung Kings were the ones who laid the foundation for the land of Vietnam in the ancient eras. The folklores date back to the year 2879 BC when there were 18 Hung Kings who ruled Văn Lang ( Vietnam is the old days) from generation to generation. They are said to have established the very first foundation of civilization for the country.
Hùng Vương is a combination of two Sino-Vietnamese words. "Hùng" means "brave" and "Vương" means "King".
We believe that learning about Vietnamese origin will contribute something interesting in your process of learning Vietnamese. We hope the story somehow helps decode Vietnamese people's personality, Vietnamese history and culture.
Back to Blog
Being one of the public holidays of Vietnam, the Hung King festival celebrates the Hung Kings who make great contributions in building the country in its origins. The death anniversary of the Hung Kings has the purpose of educating the young generations of Vietnamese society about their traditional roots. On this special day, Vietnamese people, not only at home but also abroad, turn their hearts and souls towards Nghia Linh Mountain in Phu Tho Province—the sacred land where the Hung Kings established our country centuries ago.
‘Hung King’ or Hùng Vương is the modern title given for the ancient Vietnamese rulers of the Hồng Bàng period. The Hùng Vương would have been the head chieftain of Văn Lang or Âu Lac, a territory which composed of feudal communities of rice farmers.
The first Hùng king, Kinh Dương Vương, came to power in 2879 BC. He founded the Hồng Bàng Dynasty, whose members ruled Vietnam until 258 BC. The vestiges of this time now lost to history. The second dynasty of Hùng kings was founded by Lạc Long Quân, son of Kinh Dương Vương.
The descendants took the title of Hùng Vương after the first king, and are mentioned in many Vietnamese folktales. These stories tell of the heroics of eighteen different dynasties of Hùng Vươngs (one explains the introduction of the watermelon with the help of Hùng Vương X) but fail to account for the numerous unknown rulers of Vietnam during their two and a half millennia of sovereignty.
The festival is oriented around themes of filial piety, ancestor worship, and patriotism which are valued highly in Vietnamese culture. While this holiday is observed over the course of several days, the most important celebrations occur on the 10th day of the third lunar month. For many people, Hung Kings Commemoration Day is a joyous occasion that is centered on traditional Vietnamese culture and values.
Back to Blog
Once upon a time, there was a very poor newly-wed couple who earned for living by being hired labors.
Although they’re poor, they were deeply in love with each other.
In a year of bad harvest, a lot of people were starved. The couple tried to seek for a job but no one hired them. Therefore, they had to go fishing or go into the woods to seek for the vegetables. Poverty made their lives so hard and tough. One day, the husband told the wife that: “I have to go somewhere else to find a job, I cannot stand anymore”.
The wife wanted to follow the husband. However, the husband said: “I still don’t know where I will go and what I will do for sure. You shouldn’t follow me as I may die on the way. Or If I am lucky enough, I will bring the money back. You just have to wait for me for 3 years. After 3 years if you don’t see me back, it’s time for you to have a new life, with a new partner.”
When the wife heard that, she cried as she was facing the death of the husband. Since there’s no way to deal with this situation, she had to let him go.
After the husband left, the wife found a job which helped to keep her away from the famine. The wife did her job so well that the employer, who was a widower, had an eye on her. He wanted to proposed her but she still remembered what her husband said, so she decided to keep waiting for her husband.
Time flies, 3 more years passed. There was still no news about the husband. The man convinced her again:
“Your husband may now have a new family or he may die. It’s hard to see him again. From now on, we have a new family, I promise to give you a wealthy and happy life for the rest of your life”
The woman agreed. They held a small party as a wedding.
Unluckily, 3 months later, the ex-husband came back. Now he was a beggar. He came to the house of the new husband and suddenly saw his wife. They talked. The new husband was not at home so the wife invited him to have a meal. Unexpectedly, the new husband came back. The ex-husband didn’t want to put his wife into trouble so he hid in a heap of straws. The new husband didn’t notice that there’s someone in the heap; therefore, he fired the straw to grill the hunted deer.
The woman was so anxious when she knew that her husband was burnt in the heap. Because of love and caring, she jumped into the big heap of fire to save her ex-husband but she couldn’t. Witnessing that scene, the new husband couldn’t help but followed the wife. As a result, three of them died.
After death, their spirits went to the hell. They met the king of hell. Knowing that these three people were so in love and loyal to each other, the king of hell decided to make them become the gods of kitchen. They’re the symbol of the unconditional love in a family. They’re the ones who witness and record everything happening in a family during a year. Then, on December 23rd according to lunar calendar, they come to the heaven to report their record to the God. If we do good things then we’ll be paid back the goodness. Otherwise, we’ll be punished.
By Khiet Nhu