Thousands of people from all corners of the country flocked to the northern province of Hung Yen on March 21 to attend a festival commemorating Chu Dong Tu and Tien Dung, who have been honoured by generations for their immortal love.  

Love festival pass over time

The festival, which took place at Da Hoa temple, Binh Minh commune, Khoai Chau district, forms part of activities in the National Tourism Year of the Red River Delta- Hai Phong 2013. 

The highlight of the event was an art performance with special songs and dances that depict the predestined meeting of the couple. 

Legend has it that Chu Dong Tu, was born in Da Trach commune, Khoai Chau district, Hung Yen province. His parents died when he was very young. He lived by fishing and was so poor that didn’t even have a loincloth. 

One day, when he saw the royal barge passing by with Princess Tien Dung, the daughter of the third Hung King, on board, he got very scared and hid himself under the sand. Unexpectedly, the princess decided to erect a tent up on the shore so she could bathe. As the water trickled to the ground, it washed away some of the sand, exposing Chu Dong Tu in all his nakedness. 

Tien Dung, who believed that the encounter was arranged by Heaven, fell in love with Chu Dong Tu and immediately wanted to marry him. 

But Hung King opposed the marriage and intended to arrest Chu Dong Tu to punish him. Both Chu Dong Tu and Tien Dung had to hide with local people and to earn a living, they began a small business. After that, they met a Taoism hermit who taught them the superpower. When reaching the highest part of the path, they flew off to Heaven and were canonised. 

As the legend goes, Saint Chu Dong Tu was in control of things all along and was present on earth to save mankind from its suffering and teaches people to do business, fish and weave to have a good life. 

For his contributions, Chu Dong Tu has been dubbed as one of four immortals of Vietnamese folk belief, along with Tan Vien (the God of the Mountain), Saint Giong and other Goddess Lieu Hanh.-VNA

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