Bac Ninh Province

Bac Ninh is a traditional folk culture area with a large number of pagodas, temples, communal houses and tombs

Bac Ninh Province is situated partly on the lowlands and hills of North Vietnam. It borders Bac Giang Province in the north, Hai Duong Province in the east and south east, Hanoi in the west and Hung Yen Province in the south. Situated 30 km from Hanoi, Bac Ninh Town is a hub of the South-North and East-West transport routes, both on land and the waterways. In particular, the waterway transport system is favorable for the development of the commercial economy and culture.

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Archeological studies show that thousands of years ago the ancient Viet inhabited this area. They established populous villages and hamlets on the banks of the Cau, Dau and Duong Rivers. The ancient Viet lived mainly by growing wet rice.

One of the old cities of Bac Ninh area, which fairly flourished from the 2nd to the 10th century was Luy Lau. It was a big city and an international-level trading centre. Through the process of interaction the Viet people became dynamic and capable of living with other cultures, which helped preserve their own culture during their development. Today there remain many material relics of this ancient city in the Dau area.

Bac Ninh is one of the cradles of Vietnamese civilization and a hub of numerous big cultures and religions. Many legends still exist in the minds of the Viet, such as the legends of Mr Dung and Madame Da, King Duong Vuong, Lac Long Quan and Au Co, Thanh Giong, My Chau and Trong Thuy. These legends are closely connected with the historical and artistic relics, which have been well preserved, such as the grave of King Vuong and the temples dedicated to Lac Long Quan, Au Co and Phu Dong Thien Vuong. Bac Ninh was the native place of the Ly dynasty (1010-1225), which developed the Dai Viet civilization. At present the Do Temple in Dinh Bang Village, Tien Son District worships 8 kings of the Ly dynasty. After the Nhu Nguyet River victory in 1077, the poem Nam quoc son ha (the mountains and rivers of Vietnam), which is considered the first independence declaration of the Vietnamese nation, was read on the bank of the Cau River.

Bac Ninh is also the native place of many great men of culture, history and military of Vietnam, such as Ly Van Hanh, Ly Cong Uan, Ly Nhan Tong, and Nguyen Phi Y Lan. This area has a tradition of love for learning and is well known for having had many doctoral laureates. Over the 800-year history of the Vietnamese feudal examinations Bac Ninh had more than 600 doctoral laureates and 17 first-rank laureates, accounting for one third of the doctoral laureates and first-rank laureates of the whole country.

Bac Ninh is the homeland of temples and pagodas as well as festivals and folk rituals. It is a renowned centre of Buddhism with many big and ancient temples and pagodas. These temples and pagodas are architectural and sculptural works reflecting the expertise of the Viet artisans. The most well-known of these works are the Dau, Phat Tich, But Thap and Dam Pagodas which host many great festivals and cultural activities.  Bac Ninh villages and hamlets have been preserved and developed for thousands of years. Each village has its own fetes and rituals, which are organized annually with diverse and attractive cultural activities and artistic performances.  In Bac Ninh there are a lot of art villages, such as Dong Ho Village engaged in making folk paintings, the ceremonial song-singing village of Thanh Tuong, the water puppetry village of Bui Xa, and Da Hoi, Dong Ky, Tam Lu and Tam Bao villages which have quite a few classical opera troupes and renowned artists.

Bac Ninh Province has developed with several urban areas being formed, such as Bac Ninh and Tu Son Towns. Activities in trade, handicrafts, tourism and agricultural production flourish. This province has implemented international projects with the aim of tapping its potentials in culture, production, commerce and tourism.

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