A visit to Dong Cuong Temple of Mother Goddess of the Forest

  •  Sunday, September 19, 2021

YBO - Lying on the banks of the Red River, Dong Cuong Temple is located in Ben Den hamlet of Dong Cuong commune, Van Yen district. It is known as a sacred temple and the main place of worship of “Mau Thuong Ngan” (Mother Goddess of the Forest) in the Vietnamese people’s worship of the Mother Goddesses of Three Realms.

A panorama of Dong Cuong Temple.
A panorama of Dong Cuong Temple.

Not only dedicated to the Goddess of the Forest, Dong Cuong Temple also worships "than Ve quoc” (guardian deities), who were local heroes in the resistance war against the Yuan - Mongol invaders such as Ha Dac and Ha Chuong. It is also called "Than Ve quoc” or "Dong Quang” Temple.

Dong Cuong Temple was recognised as a national historical and cultural relic site by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism on January 22, 2009.

In October 2020, its main temple was restored and upgraded into a two-storey building with ironwood roof and accompanied facilities built in the architectural and cultural style of the northern mountainous and midland region. The restoration was funded by private sources.

This temple has become the destination of many visitors who come from far and wide to worship the Goddess, pray for peace and happiness, and enjoy the landscape.

A ritual performed at the festival of practices of the worship of "Mau Thuong Ngan” at Dong Cuong Temple.

There are two traditional festivals held at Dong Cuong Temple every year. The first takes place in the beginning of the first lunar month and the second, the New Rice Festival, at the start of the ninth lunar month. These events feature solemn traditional rituals and a wide range of joyful festive activities such as folk sports and games, singing and dancing performances by local residents, shows of ethnic groups’ costumes, and fairs.

Notably, the site served as the venue of a festival of practices of the worship of "Mau Thuong Ngan” held in Van Yen district for the first time in 2017.

This was a practical activity helping to preserve, bring into play, and honour the special values of the "Practices related to the Viet beliefs in the Mother Goddesses of Three Realms”, which was named in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO on December 1, 2016.

The second festival took place at the same time with the New Rice Festival in 2020, giving visitors interesting experiences and also a chance to learn more about the significance and values of the worship of the Mother Goddesses.

Proud of Dong Cuong Temple, Van Yen authorities have been making tireless efforts to concurrently uphold the site’s special historical and cultural values and promote local tourism.

Nguyen Thom

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