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Saturday, July 20, 2024

Honoring Holy Mother in Hue

Text & photos by Hieu Truong

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Deep within the heart of the central city of Hue lies Hue Nam, also known as Hon Chen Temple. This sacred space was once dedicated to the worship of Thien Y A Na, the revered goddess of the Champa people.

The legend tells of Thien Y A Na’s creation of the Earth, and her connection to precious agarwood and rice, symbolized by fragrant frankincense and agarwood. Her benevolence even extends to the sweet scent of rice, inspiring the planting of bodhi trees.

Marking the seventh lunar month, the Hue Nam Temple Festival holds great significance for both the locals and their cultural heritage. This annual event, held from August 23 to 25 this year, not only preserves but also showcases the rich traditions that define the ancient capital.

The festival features captivating moments, including a sacred procession, vibrant rituals, and participants dressed as ethereal fairies.

The homage ritual, a central part of the festivities, is a fascinating sight to behold. Even a foreign visitor gets to partake in the blessings during this special moment.

Hue Nam Temple stands as a testament to the enduring cultural and spiritual connections that bring people together, bridging the past with the present.

Engaging activities unfold within the palace grounds
The procession carries the goddess to Hue Nam Temple
The procession glides by boat along the Huong River
Graceful fairies join the ceremony
The journey pauses at Hai Cat Village Temple…
… before culminating at Hue Nam Temple
The festival draws a crowd of faithful believers and curious tourists
Attendees capture poignant moments at Hue Nam Temple
Boats laden with altars for worship gather near Hue Nam Temple
The festival carries on from daylight till midnight
Devotees bring their personal altars for worship
An homage ritual, a highlight of the festival
Even foreigners share in the blessings of the homage ritual

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