Tich Dien festival in Ha Nam province

Nga Do
The Tich Dien New Year plowing festival in Doi Son commune, Duy Tien dictrict, Ha Nam province, is one of many traditional festivals associated with wet rice cultivation and agricultural development.

Xoan festival in Phu Tho province
Photo by Kim Chiến
The annual plowing festival takes place on the 7th day of the 1st lunar month. Historical documents record that in 987 King Le Dai Hanh held a Tich Dien ritual in Doi areas of Ha Nam province. After a ritual to pray for favorable weather and bumper crops, the King went to the field to plow it for a new crop. The event was a milestone in Vietnam’s wet rice civilization as he was the first King to perform this ritual. The Tich Dien festival became a tradition solemnly upheld by the succeeding Ly, Tran, Le, and Nguyen dynasties.

The highlight of the festival is a ritual creating King Le Dai Hanh’s act of ploughing to begin the year. It symbolizes the King’s sharing of joys and sorrows with the peasants and encourages the people to work for prosperous, happy lives and a peaceful nation. The festival organizing board has to find the best person to portray the King. 

The Tich Dien festival has not only revitalized the image of a peaceful nation and bumper crop, but also aimed to honor the peasants and farm work, and encourage the building of new rural areas. The Tich Dien festival encourages the younger generation to follow their ancestors in building a strong, prosperous nation.

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