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Jun 03, 2023 / 16:59

Hanoi celebrates 595th anniversary of the coronation of King Le Thai To

The festival aims to honor the exploits of King Le Thai To, a national hero whose legend is linked to the history of the Sword Lake.

A festival to commemorate the 595th anniversary of his coronation (1384- 1433) will take place at the King Le Thai To Monument by Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi on June 2-4.

 A traditional palanquin procession around Hoan Kiem Lake will be held on June 3 to pay tribute King Le Thai To (1384-1433). Photo: VNA 

The festival will cover many spiritual rituals, cultural activities, and performance arts, including an incense offering ceremony including a traditional palanquin procession around Hoan Kiem Lake; a photo exhibition themed Vietnamese traditional festival on the Sword Lake’s sidewalk; an exhibition of Hang Trong folk paintings at Nam Huong Communal House; the human chess performance at Le Thai To Street; material arts performances on Hoan Kiem pedestrian street, among others.

The annual festival is to commemorate the great service rendered by Le Loi during the 10-year uprising against the Chinese Ming invaders. The festival is also a way for the people to learn about ancestor worship and the preservation of traditional spiritual and cultural values.

King Le Thai To, born Le Loi, is one of the most prominent figures in Vietnamese history and one of the country's greatest heroes.

The king also earned his pre-imperial title as Binh Dinh Vuong, or Prince of Pacification, who founded the later Le dynasty after restoring independence to the kingdom of Dai Viet (Greater Vietnam) by defeating the Chinese Ming invaders.

 An illustration of legendary history of the Sword Lake. File photo

In 1418, Le Loi and his followers revolted against Ming rule in his homeland in what became known as the Lam Son Uprising. He was known for his effective guerrilla tactics, which relied on constant movement on the wing and the use of small units of soldiers to ambush regular Ming troops.

Nine years later, his resistance movement succeeded in driving the Ming army out of Vietnam and liberating the country.

This king is also fabulous because of his connection to the history of Sword Lake. Legend has it that Hoan Kiem Lake is where King Le Loi returned his magic sword to the Golden Turtle after defeating the Ming Empire, and since then it has been named Ho Guom or "Sword Lake" or Ho Hoan Kiem or "Restored Sword Lake".

In 1894, the statue of King Le Thai To was erected by the former viceroy of Tonkin Hoang Cao Khai (1850-1933) on Hoan Kiem Lake in front of the Nam Huong Communal House.

Today, King Le Thai To Memorial is connected with Nam Huong Communal House (in Hang Trong Ward, Hoan Kiem District), forming a complex of ancient and dignified historical and cultural relics, preserving Vietnamese cultural traditions in the capital city.

Since 1995, Nam Huong Communal House and King Le Thai To Memorial have been listed as one of the Ho Guom Monument Cluster and recognized as National Historical Monument by Hanoi Municipality.

The Nam Huong Communal House bears strong imprints of Hanoi's history, culture, and people. Photo: VOV