The Dong Ky firecracker festival

Nga Do
Dong Ky village belongs to Dong Quang commune, Tu Son district, Bac Ninh province. Every year, on the 4th day of the 1st lunar month, Dong Ky village holds a firecracker festival. 

The Dong Ky firecracker festival 1
Photo by collect on the internet
Dong Ky village is located in Tien Son district, Bac Ninh - a village has still preserved several historical and cultural relics. Its annual festival is organized from the 4th to the 6th of the first lunar month in memory of tutelary god's great merit - who was nominated Thien Cuong De. The tutelary spirit is the person who is of both high position and exploit in teaching the handicraft to the whole area on which basing people's lives here have been being improved better and better. Thus, he is specially respected one of employments he taught everybody is making crackers. This job itself is the one forming the well-known festival - the competition of making and burning crackers. Formerly, during the festival Dong  Ky village's people used to carry genitals, organized emulations how to raise pigs, chickens well and implemented army parades in order to recall the time when the tutelary god also a general led army forces to fight against enemies. It is believed that, exploding of cracker stands for strength and martial spirit which is possible to exterminate harmful and cruel forces. The more exploded crackers are, the better representing an endless power could bring harmonious weather assisting crops, harvests to be better and people have a prosperous life.

Crackers made from Dong Ky village meet demands of people everywhere on the occasions of Tet - periods, festivals, celebrations... In the competition of crackers, there are huge crackers which are 10 metres long and two metres in diameter with images of dragons, phoenixes, clouds and other traditional designs splendidly embellished.

This kind of cracker is solemnly put inside a sophisticated decorated carriage pulled from hamlets to the ground of the central square by strong boys and beautiful girls in national costumes. After the magic cracker is made sacrifice to the God, an elderly authority wearing a red belt will beat the drum three times announcing that the competition starts. A good cracker must be of loud -prolonged - edged explosion and its body burst into brilliant coloured red petals. The more explosion of thunder or lightning, the more bumper crops next year. People carry the magic cracker before hand and carry the sedan chair of tutelary god followed. The procession of sedan chair always attracts the attention of everyone in the festival. The sedan chair is ornamented magnificent with skilful designs carved by entertainers in the village. The god's statue in the sedan chair is sculptured from red lacquer trimmed with gold timber. It is respectively carried by twelve virginal boys and twelve virginal girls followed by octet playing characteristic tunes. Next are groups of singing and dancing of young people. They sing and dance in sudden inspiration praising the beauty of life. The festival is also made more plentifully by several games such as cock fighting,lion dancing, wrestling, swinging, human chess, boat races... In human chess, pretty girls in speeral costumes play the roles of chessmen. Bordering villages whose literature and art teams are also invited to take part in. They sing together during the festival on green grasses full of cracker body or in romantic - flowered boats. Dong Ky village's festival is held not only for displaying or demonstrating its handicrafts but also for praising spring, friendly relations... so it captivates a lot of participants. People from other places usually come to see this festival and they are greeted and treated to many dishes made by Dong Ky people such as "banh day, banh gio" (rice - pie)...

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