Lim festival is a unique art festival that has existed for a long time in Bac Ninh - the village of Quan ho. Every year, on festival season, Lim festival in Bac Ninh shall attract numerous tourists of all ages, from every region nationwide. The majority of them are young boys and girls. Coming to the Lim Festival, they have a chance to sing together. For old men and women, Lim Festival is the time for them to be back to their youth. For the young, this festival is the occasion to find friends and to relax. Lim festival is a unique cultural event that has become a part of the spiritual values of Vietnam.
- Location of the festival: Doi Lim, Tien Du district, Bac Ninh.
- The object of worship: the two ancestors of Quan ho folk music.
- Content: singing Quan ho on the hill, on boats and at home.
In addition to singing and dancing, the Lim Festival also contains some sacred rituals to celebrate meritorious people, including ceremonies and some folk games and competitions. Early on 13th December in the lunar calendar, the procession from Trung Pagoda to Hong An Pagoda is conducted. When it is finished, they carry sacred water from back to Trung Pagoda from Hong An Pagoda. The time when the procession finishes are also the opening time of other activities.
Quan ho is a major and special kind of folk music in Bac Ninh in the past. The prestige of these tunes is stemmed from not only the lyrics which are various, containing love for life and for people but also from the unique features which cannot be found anywhere else. The words, the behaviors in daily life and also at the festival are gentle and modest. The custom of make friends between different Quan ho villages or Quan ho groups have shaped the respectable ethical lifestyle. People singing Quan ho are hospitable. They are close friends or relatives. The hospitality of the people hare has gone to a lyric which can be understood as:
Guesses sometimes come,
Burn the stove to make a cup of tea
This tea taste so good
Please have a cup for my pleasure
When they had to say goodbye to each other, it’s difficult to go as the words seem to retain the guess:
(please stay here, don’t leave… )
Quan ho singing festival is connected with a temple festival. Thus, temples are also the destination of visitors. There are around 49 Quan ho villages here, which are allocated mainly in the 4 southern districts of Bac Ninh. However, the most famous one is in Lung Giang commune. The festival takes place on Lim Hill where Lim Pagoda is located. Lim Festival is the most crowded and famous one among many Quan ho festivals. It is opened on December 13th in the lunar calendar, which coincides with the New Year market of Lim Market.
Coming to Lim festival, visitors will be enjoying Quan ho in any place of hills, in the yard of temple, on boats or at home. The sound of Quan ho spreading all the atmosphere makes people fluttered. If paying more attention, you will see the duet between a couple. Joining Lim Festival, visitors have a chance to take part in many different traditional cultural activities of the locals including flying trapeze, cockfighting, birds fighting, wrestling, a kind of gambling and so on. These are some typical characteristics of folk culture which have been maintained in Lim Festival as the heritages.
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