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|Dong Cuong temple in Yen Bai province (Photo: VNA)|
Yen Bai – A festival centring on the Vietnamese Mother Goddess worshipping opened in the northern mountainous province of Yen Bai on October 26, drawing large crowds of practitioners and visitors.
Honouring the Mother Goddess of Forest worshipping practice, the event took place at the local Dong Cuong temple, known as the birthplace of Mother Goddess Worship Practice.
It entailed several activities, including the practice of “len dong” (going into a trance), a carnival recreating the Mother Goddess, and an exhibition of photos and paintings depicting the practice, together with folk games and sport competitions.
The Mother Goddess of Forest is among the Mother Goddesses of the Three Realms in the Viet beliefs who look after heaven, water and mountains and forests.
The Vietnamese Mother Goddess worshipping was officially recognised by UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage of humanity in late 2016.
The Beliefs in the Mother Goddesses of Three Realms has been practiced in numerous northern mountainous provinces across the nation since the 16th century.
The practitioners are comprised of temple guardians, ritual priests, spirit mediums, mediums’ assistants, musicians who perform the songs for the spirits, disciples and lay adherents who share the same beliefs in the spiritual power, supernatural strength and protection of the Mother Goddess spirit pantheon. All of these practitioners form groups who worship together, take part in traditional festivals and perform spirit possession rituals at temples and palaces dedicated to Mother Goddesses.