Patriotic Yen The's festival - Bac Giang Province
|The procession to carry the statue
Crowds of people flock to down town Yen The in Bac Giang Province to attend the Yen The historical festival, which has become a tradition. Eighteen years ago, on the centenary celebration of the Yen The insurrection, the Province’s authorities decided to take March 16 as the local festive day. The insurrection was closely connected with the name of Hoang Hoa Tham, an excellent and patriotic commander who was determined to fight against the French colonialists.
Through 30 years of fighting, his insurgent army engaged in hundreds of battles, including such resounding ones as the Cao Thuong, Ho Chuoi and Phon Xuong. The French enemy resorted to military force and many crafty tricks to try and wipe out De Tham, or Commander Tham’s troops, but in vain. They even mobilised Paul Doumer, governor-general of Indochina and Moren, resident superior in northern Vietnam together with three major generals, four colonels, six lieutenant-majors, 30 majors and more than 48,000 non-commissioned officers and troops, but they could not force Hoang Hoa Tham to surrender. Later due to the betrayal of a henchman, Tham was killed.
The festival is an opportunity to remember the traditional patriotism of Yen The residents and an Vietnamese people. On that day, people in upper and lower Yen The are all excited and eager to participate in the celebration, which is organised at Phon Xuong Post whose walls are still intact despite the effect of weather over time. The entertainment programmes are linked with the local customs and include martial arts competition, human-chess playing, cross-bow shooting and others and all attract many healthy men in the area. Quite a few artistic performances are performed by the local people.
The festive atmosphere exists in every household. In recent years Yen The area has witnessed great changes, with the people’s living standards improved and their economic and cultural life enhanced. The area has a new face.
The former Phon Xuong war zone is also bustling at festive time. It seems this area still remembers the following words said by Hoang Hoa Tham, the legendary leader of the insurgent troops: “We are closely connected to our country’s customs and we will never give them up even if we must lay down our lives.”
Author: Vietnam Review