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Apr 10, 2022 / 11:16

Traditional cake making contest commemorates Hung Kings

A contest of making traditional Chung and Day cakes was held in the northern province of Phu Tho to celebrate the annual Hung Kings’ Temple Festival that falls on April 10 this year.

The contest titled “Preparing, cooking Banh Chung and Banh Day cakes 2022” took place at Hung Kings Temple National Historic Site in Phong Chau Commune, Phu Tho Province to commemorate the founders of the country.

The annual cultural activity was held to entertain people and visitors to the place on the occasion of Hung Kings Anniversary as well as select the best cake makers to prepare offerings for the Hung Kings next year. 

This is an annual cultural activity held to entertain people and visitors on the occasion of the festival and select the best cake makers to prepare offerings for the event. 
This year's contest attracted the participation of 13 teams from 13 districts and towns in the province.
In the competition, contestants from youth unions of Phu Tho Province have to pack 10 sticky rice squared cakes in a maximum of 10 minutes and boil them for five hours; prepare five kilograms of steamed sticky rice within 30 minutes; and make 10 Day cakes (Vietnamese style mochi cake) in up to 15 minutes.

Legend has it that the two kinds of cakes (Banh Chung and Banh Day) were first made by Prince Lang Lieu, a son of Hung King VI. Thanks to this invention, he was selected to inherit the crown by his father. 

The prince made Chung cakes (glutinous rice cakes) in a square shape and Day cakes (glutinous rice dumplings) in a round shape to symbolize the earth and the heaven respectively, and offered them to the king to express his respect and gratitude for his parents and to thank the gods for blessing them the year’s good harvest. 
The tradition has been preserved by the Vietnamese people nationwide, and the cakes became the main dishes on the menu of the lunar New Year festival. 
These end-products of traditional cakes must meet the criteria of both aesthetics and quality. Chung cake must be in a firm square shape, well-cooked and have delicious taste of dong leaves while Day cake is round, ivory white and has a typical taste of freshly harvested glutinous rice.
The worshiping ritual of the Hung Kings was honored by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in December 2012. Meanwhile, the Hung Kings’ Temple Festival was recognized as a national event in 2007.