|The “Origin and Aspiration” festival's opening ceremony on November 16, 2019.
Mother Goddess Worship is a traditional practice which represents the Vietnamese people’s wish for health, wealth, and luck. The faith has been a source of strength, inspiration and spirituality, particularly among working-class families. Its practices were recognized by UNESCO in 2016 as intangible cultural heritage.
Mau or “Mother” advises people to live with a warm heart and remember their ancestors and those who devoted their lives to the people and the country.
"Mother Goddess Worship illustrates the image of Vietnamese women from different angles. The Mother gives birth to us and at the same represents our surrounding environment like Mother Earth, Mother Heaven, Mother Water, and Mother Rice. She protects us and brings us all sources of life," said Ngo Duc Thinh, former Director of the Culture Research Institute.
The program “Origin and Aspiration” last week featured 4 major activities including a display on Mother Goddess worshipping practices, the reenactment of an ancient village festival, a Van ritual singing festival, and street performances of folk arts and culture.
For the very first time, visitors had a chance to explore the diverse local traditions associated with agricultural production, including the practices of worshipping the Mother of Heaven, Earth, Water, Rice, and palanquin processions of Mother Au Co and the Mother governing the Mountains and Forests. Au Co is the legendary mother of the Vietnamese people.
"The program takes festival goers back to the Hung Kings period (4,000 years ago) to explore its cultural practices, especially those which originated from the Phu Tho region. The event is held for the very first time to promote the local people’s traditional culture and encourage them to contribute to preserving such a valuable heritage," said Nguyen Van Thao, one of the program’s organizers.
A Van singing festival called was one of the program’s highlights with many performances involving UNESCO-recognized folk singing genres like Van, Xoan, and Ca tru. Meanwhile, street performances of folk culture attracted nearly 1,000 artisans, actors, and local people, said Nguyen Thi Xuan Ngan, Deputy Head of the Cultural Management Division of the Phu Tho provincial Department of Culture, Sports, and Tourism.
During 3 days full of activities, visitors were also treated to a Vietnamese ancient village festival where daily practices of the northern residents were reenacted through rituals, singing, dancing, games, and cooking. Phu Tho’s specialties including fermented pork, marinated pork, oranges, pomelos, and bamboo and rattan products were also introduced.