About ten kilometers away from Tay Ninh town, in the middle of Mekong Delta is Ba Mountain (Nui Ba)-also known as Ms. Den Mountain (Nui Ba Den). As mentioned in folklore, the mountain was named after Denh, often mistaken as Den (meaning ‘black’), the daughter of a local official.
About Nui Ba Festival
Running away from an arranged marriage, Den decided to lead a religious life in a Buddhist monastery on the mountain for the rest of her life. After Den’s death, Nguyen Dynasty entitled her as Saint Linh Son (Linh Son Thanh Mau), built a temple to commemorate the figure, and casted a statue in black bronze for her.
Later on, this mountain has been called Nui Ba as we know today. Also, local people establish the custom of holding Nui Ba Festival during the first lunar month in order to commemorate the Saint. In Vietnam culture, pilgrimages from all parts of the country especially Ho Chi Minh City and Vietnam’s southern cities—join together to pay Nui Ba a visit and enjoy the amazing view as well as religious atmosphere there.
The system of Ba Den vestige is known for the place of many monks and the development of Buddhism. From the base of mountain, visitors have to climb to the hillside of Linh Son Thanh Mau. Coming to higher place, to the peak of Mieu Son Than, visitors would feel like being above the cloud and visitors could see the whole view of Dau Tieng lake – a beautiful and big water resource project of Vietnam. Besides, in the complex of Ba Den Mountain, there is an area of God spring or Ma Thien Lanh spring located on the West of Phung Mountain and Cham Lake, Ong Lon Tra Vong temple and Quan Ngua yard to be the religious complex which is full of spirit features.
On the beginning of the spring, the complex of Ba Den Mountain complex attracts millions of visitors to pilgrim and visit. They join the spring festival of Ba Mountain. The festival last for month but the exact day if 18th night and 19th morning of first lunar month. Besides, there is a festival of Via in 6th lunar May. Before the main day, the head of Dien Ba carry the ceremony of Moc Duc (Washing God’s statue) in the midnight. The beautiful young ladies in the sparkling outfit in the melodies of music wash the statues. This is not only cultural activities but also the place for the young to enjoy and working together.
Spring festival of Ba Den Mountain (Tay Ninh) is considered one of the typical features of South folklore culture and that is the place to be back to the root. This is also an ecotourism, traditional tourism for not only Tay Ninh but also the whole country.
Highlight of the festival
Highlight of the festival is on the 18th and 19th day of the first lunar month when Via Ba ceremony is conducted. Before that, at midnight, ceremony of washing the Saint’s statue—Moc Duc—is carried out by the head of Dien Ba. Apart from being a religious event, Nui Ba Festival is a remarkable activity representing South Vietnam folklore culture as well as a special occasion for people to spend valuable time having fun together.
- Time: 18th-19th of 1st lunar month
- Purpose: venerate Saint Linh Son
- Ceremonial rites: Moc Duc (washing the Saint’s statue), Via Ba
- Entertaining activities: sightseeing, folk games
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