Thousands of visitors flocked to Dong Da Hill in Hanoi on February 7 to celebrate the 222nd anniversary of the Ngoc Hoi – Dong Da Victory.
The Dong Da Festival takes place annually on the 5th day of the lunar first month. It is a festival organised in memory of King Quang Trung's great military victory.
Many new activities were included in this year's festivities. "The traditions of placing offerings, dragon dance and palanquin procession have been brushed up and given a new face, " said Nguyen Thi Kim Anh, Director of Dong Da Culture Park.
Performers from the Hanoi traditional opera recreated the heroic story of King Quang Trung and his troops defeating invaders on the hill in 1789.
Quang Trung, a Tay Son farmer who later became a national hero, defeated more than 200, 000 soldiers of the invading Qing army. Dong Da Hill became known as one of the nation's most glorious historical sites.
In the early morning of the festival, a procession for the historical event's celebration commenced at Khuong Thuong and ended at Dong Da Hill. The procession included flags, a processional parasol, palanquins in a variety of colours, and the sounds of gongs and drums.
During the festival a number of games were played to represent the martial spirit. Among them, the procession of Thang Long dragon was considered by many as the most original.
"The festival has become an essential part of the capital's culture. It's a way for people to remind themselves of the historical event and open the eyes of young people, " said Tran Duc Hoc, chairman of Dong Da District People's Committee.
Authorities in the central province of Binh Dinh's Tay Son District – King Quang Trung's (Nguyen Hue) homeland – also attended the ceremony and gave speeches recalling the historic battle.