A workshop gather in Hanoi on June 23 to discuss the preservation
of cultural values of the Giong festival and promote the festival-based
sustainable tourism development.
Participants stressed the need to raise public awareness of preserving and
developing heritage values of the festival, which was recognised as part of the
intangible cultural heritage of humanity.
Responsibilities of authorities at all levels in working together to build and
upgrade infrastructure facilities to satisfy visitors to festivals was also
referred to at the event.
Attendees also pointed to the necessity to link the festival and other tourism
products in the region into a regional heritage tourism model to optimise their
The Giong festival of Phu Dong and Soc temples in Gia Lam and Soc Son districts
is celebrated annually before the rice harvest to honour the mythical hero, god
and saint, called “Thanh Giong”, who legend says turned from a child to a giant
overnight to fight against foreign invaders in the past.
Legend has it that Giong was born very strangely. His mother saw a huge footstep
in the field and tried her foot on. Coming back home, she got pregnant and gave
birth to the little boy named Giong, who never talked or smiled.
When Giong was three years old, the country was in danger of invasion. The boy
asked the king to forge an iron horse, an armour and a cane for him. Giong
turned into a giant, riding the horse and fighting against the aggressors.
Finally, after got rid of the enemy, he galloped to the Soc Mountain, taking off
the armour and flying into the sky.
As the largest and unique cultural event of the Red River Delta region, in 2010
the Giong festival was included in the list of the intangible cultural heritage
of humanity the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation