Hai Duong province boasts historical and cultural tradition
Hai Duong city, 60km east of Ha Noi, has been well-known for its rich culture, long history, and learning tradition. In the past, the province had 472 scholars including 11 first-ranking doctoral laureates.
Mo Trach village in Binh Giang is honored as the Doctor Village because it produced 39 holders of doctorate degrees during feudal times. The province set up a Temple of Literature to honor the local learning tradition. Famous scholars from Hai Duong include Nguyen Trai, Tue Tinh, Mac Dinh Chi, Pham Su Manh and Nguyen Phi Khanh.
Hai Duong has great tourist potential thanks to its numerous festivals, cultural and tourist sites. The province has 2,000 historical and cultural relics, 125 which are ranked as national relic sites.
Tran Lieu temple, Tran Hung Dao monument, An Phu pagoda, Kinh Chu hi cave, the Temple of Literature, and Con Son-Kiep Bac relic are the most famous sites in the region. Covering an area of more than 8 hectares in Chi Linh town, the Con Son-Kiep Bac historical site is closely associated with the lives and careers of outstanding national hero Tran Hung Dao, the great writer Nguyen Trai, and the great teacher Chu Van An. Le Duy Manh is Deputy Head of the Con Son - Kiep Bac Relic Site Management Board.
The Con Son- Kiep Bac is a religious center in the northeastern region. It is on the pilgrimage path from Thang Long citadel to the Yen Tu Buddhist Holy Land. Con Son pagoda worships Huyen Quang Ton Gia, the third progenitor of Truc Lam Zen Buddhism.
Five kilometre from Con Son pagoda is Kiep Bac temple, which worships military leader Tran Hung Dao. Next to Kiep Bac temple is a temple dedicated to the Confucianism teacher Chu Van An.
Hai Duong is famous for not only its historical and relic sites but also its numerous traditional festivals. The bell ringing festival in Dong Ngo pagoda, Thanh Ha district, is the first festival of the year. But the biggest festival is the Kiep Bac Temple festival which is held during the 8th lunar month.
Traditional festivals in Hai Duong often feature processions, folk games, swimming contests, and stick fighting, which maintain the cultural characteristics of the Red River Delta. More than 500 local traditional festivals have been restored so far.
Hai Duong province preserves several traditional theater and art genres like Cheo traditional theater, Tuong opera, Ca Tru singing, duet singing, lullabies, and water puppetry. There are three water puppet troupes in Hai Duong.
Pham Van Tong, Head of the Water Puppetry Troup of Hong Phong commune said the art-form first appeared in Hong Phong commune during the 17th century and all the puppets are handled by strings. Local people perform water puppetry after a hard working day. The performances feature local people’s daily activities. These performances entertain and celebrate the people’s lives.
Hai Duong is also famous for local specialties such as glutinous rice, lychees, green bean cakes, and gai cakes or thorn leaf black cakes. Local craft villages like Kinh Chu stone carving village, Dong Giao wood carving village, Chau Khe jewelry village, and Cay and Chu Dao ceramic village also preserve their traditional crafts.