The Tro Chieng Festival is considered the most anticipated festival in Thanh Hoa, which is being held since the rule of the Ly Dynasty. The founder of the festival is General Trinh Quoc Bao, who served during the reign of King Ly Thanh Tong (1054-1072) and is credited with defeating the Chiem Thanh (Champa) invaders.
To prepare for the fight against the invaders, who used elephant troops, the general ordered his soldiers to build bamboo elephants to practice with. During the battle, bamboo elephants which were glued with fireworks attached to them were burned, helping to defeat the invaders’ troops.
A martial arts game with bamboo elephants was reproduced at the festival to welcome the coming of spring in 1068 and was held by villagers of Trinh Xa village, Yen Dinh district.
Currently, the villagers hold the festival on January 10-12 of the lunar calendar. The festival is organised on a large scale with many folk games and cultural activities, including a paper elephant fighting competition, in which groups of men hoisting paper elephants attempt to topple each other.
The Sing and Dance under Bon Tree Festival originated from Thanh Hoa province’s Thai ethnic group. It is held to pay respects to people, helping locals settle down and be protected. The Thai people also sing and dance under the Bong tree on the occasion of the harvest.
Southern Ninh Thuan province also has two heritages - Kate Festival of the Cham ethnic group and the art of making pottery in Bau Truc village listed by the Ministry.
The ministry in its recent decision added seven more festivals to the list of national intangible cultural heritages. They include Lady Hai Festival of the Tay ethnic group in the northern mountainous province of Cao Bang, Lanh Giang Temple Festival in the northern province of Ha Nam and Chieu Trung Temple Festival in the central province of Ha Tinh.
These seven national intangible cultural heritages that were recently recognised belong to the three categories of traditional festivals, traditional crafts, and social customs and beliefs.