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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in Vietnam series at VietnamesePod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Vietnamese holidays and observances. I’m Michael, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 5 - Hung Kings Commemorations.
Hung Kings Commemorations, or Ngày Giỗ tổ Hùng Vương, is a festival in Vietnam held from March 3rd to 11th in the lunar calendar. It takes place at King Hung Temple, or đền Hùng, in Viet Tri City, Phu Tho Province. In this lesson, we will learn about the Hung Kings and activities of Vietnamese people on the holiday.
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question?
In what year was March 10 chosen as a national holiday by the state of Vietnam?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
The Hung Kings Commemorations festival lasts for about one week in total, but the main holiday takes place on March 10 of the lunar calendar. This day has been recognized as one of Vietnam's national holidays, toting the banner of the phrase "when drinking water, remember its source,” or in Vietnamese uống nước nhớ nguồn. This phrase is used to remind the people of modern-day Vietnam that they are the descendants of the Hung Kings. The Hung Kings are the children of Lac Long Quan, who was known as the dragon king from the sea, and Au Co who was a beautiful fairy from the mountain. They are considered the ancestors of all the Vietnamese people.
According to legend, long ago a King called Lang Lieu created rice cakes called “bánh chưng bánh dày” and the Hung Kings taught Vietnamese people how to grow rice plants, called lúa in Vietnamese. Thus, one of the main ways Vietnamese people observe this holiday is to prepare a tray of five fruits, rice cake, and rice itself.
The festival includes many of the rich cultural traditions of Vietnam. People carry incense, put on elephant parades, do kylin dances, and more. On this holiday, thousands of people travel to the Hung Kings' Temple, or đền Hùng, as a pilgrimage to the place of origin of the Vietnamese people.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question!
In what year was March 10 on the lunar calendar selected as a national holiday by the state of Vietnam?
The answer is 2007. Since 2007, this day has been specified as a national holiday by the government of Vietnam.
So listeners, how was this lesson? Did you learn something interesting?
In your country, are there any similar holidays to commemorate your country’s founders? Please leave a comment telling us at VietnamesePod101.com, and we’ll see you next time!