Lim Festival opens annually on around 12th – 13th day of the first lunar month in the year. The festival takes place in a spacious area of Noi Due Commune, Lien Bao Commune and Lim Town, which three belong to territory of Tien Du District in Bac Ninh Province, Vietnam. It’s the festival of “Quan Ho” singing, which has become one of UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage since 2009.
The main day of the festival is 13th day of Lunar New Year. At the beginning of the festival, the locals gather very early in a procession up to Lim Hill – the center of Lim Festival. On Lim Hill, representatives of villages take part in a traditional liturgy of incense-offering at Lim Pagoda, which is place to worship Mr. Nguyen Dinh Dien (so-called Hieu Trung Hau). According to the story told by a local resident, Nguyen Dinh Dien, who lived in 18th century, was born in Noi Due Village and made many great merits for his hometown. He was also the person who founded Lim Festival, which was originally Commune Festival held yearly in the eighth lunar month. Therefore, incense-offering liturgy expresses gratitude and respect of the locals to him, and is also an occasion to remember the origin of Lim Festival as well.
Recreational activities of Lim Festival begin earlier, usually from 12th day of Lunar New Year. Of course, the most attractive activity is “quan ho” singing performance. Each year, thousands of tourists come to visit Lim Festival and enjoy that Intangible Cultural Heritage. On Lim Hill, several stages of villages in Bac Ninh Province are built. Visitors can enjoy “quan ho” singing at difference stages and interact with singers in traditional costumes. Female singers (called “lien chi” in Vietnamese) are beautiful in “ao tu than” (four-panel traditional dress) and “non quai thao” (“quai thao” hat, so-called “non ba tam”). Male singers (called “lien anh” in Vietnamese) are elegant in “ao the” and “khan xep”. They sing love duets together in pair of one male and one female. Don’t miss the taste of betel chewing while enjoying smooth and lovely melody of “quan ho” folk songs. Moreover, on the lake in front of Lim Communal House, visitors can catch the scenery of “quan ho” singing performance on a dragon boat. Coming to Lim Festival, visitors will experience a unique specialty of legend land of Kinh Bac as well as of Vietnam in general.
Besides, Lim Festival is also space for various folk games such as “danh du” (bamboo swings), wrestling, cocks fighting, tugging war, blindman’sbuff, human chess, pot beating, etc. Especially, visitors can know more about culture of Vietnamese people in Red River Delta region with the competition of weaving.
Over 300 years in existence, Lim Festival has become an indispensable part of Vietnamese culture and pride of Vietnamese people.