The oration on the country ancestor’s death anniversary of the Hung Emperors 

17/10/2021 09:23

At the Hung pagoda – Phu Tho province on March, 10 Canh Than lunar calendar. Compiled by Lab. hero, Prof. Vu Khieu. Translated into English by Nguyen Kinh Quoc, edited by Ned Horning

The oration on the country ancestor’s death anniversary of the Hung Emperors

Congratulating today

The copper drums reverberate to, the mountains and rivers bubble up with heroic thunder!

The copper drums resound up, Heaven and Earth curl upward responsive vitalities!

All people participate in the first ancestor’s death anniversary of the Hïng Emperors

The whole country is happy in the Homeland’s Anniversary

How boisterous drums and gongs are!

How jubilant flags and pennons are!

Brightening up to the sun and the moon, the blue clouds with white flamingos 2,

                                 the broad expanse of heaven

Lighting up the mountains and rivers, the yellow star-red flags,

                                      the spacious and immense holy land

The boats run down, the waves clap against, the three flow-river 3 sprinkles

                                   cool water everywhere.

The tigers glide, the dragons fly up, the hundred peak-mountain is gathered

                              to the royal direction 4

From the highest top of the ten-thousand-yard distance fortune,

We see together back forty centuries ago:

The bulky mountains with clouds are like our Father’s 5 distinguished service

The overflowing rivers with water are like our Mother’s 5 feeling of gratitude

Remembering the ancient times

Our Mother had been in the high mountains to light up the loyalty and humanity

Our Father grew from the sea with resourceful mind to will indomitably

It was matched in marriage between the two talent and beauty,

From which was made an unusual encounter from time immemorial up to now.

It was a link between a couple of yin and yang unifying as well as

the extraordinary Mandarin ducks!

That happy family bore a hundred eggs hatching into a hundred children

They fully sympathized in heart and mind to live

That life involved many great tests

Making a living had uncounted difficulties

Those were the dense jungle, the boggy swamps,

                                         the deep rivers and the dangerous ridges,

                                                but they didn’t frighten the brave!

Those were the male and female whales, the tigers and leopards,

            the diseases and the lighting and thunder storms,

                                                             what did they find to defend themselves?

Dividing into two directions, everyone was coming

Selecting the head of a position for succeeding.

The rivers and mountains in an uniform country, how can they exist in space forever?

The forests and seas in two places, to build them in four powerful directions!

Phï §æng wiped the enemies, how dauntless was he 6!

S¬n Tinh harnessed the river water, how valiant was he 7!

How beautiful Chö §ång Tö is 8!

His love looks like the transparent gems, the light mirrors

How excellent Mai An Tiªm is 9!

His labor is similar to moving the mountains, filling the sea

It is glorious to the eighteen royal dynasties

It is resplendent to the hundred prosperous and peaceful lives

Passing through miserably hard positions with full range of vicissitudes

Spreading the trials with many prosperous and deserted times!

The distinguished service of changing waste land only in a period

Were to make the authority for several hundred generations

 There were Tr­ưng sisters, TriÖu Trinh, the heroic young women

 There were Phïng H­ưng 10, Lý BÝ 11, the brave and strategic young men

The B¹ch §»ng waves curled up strongly the Ng« King’s 12 position

The Như­ NguyÖt winds resounded far and wide the Th¸i óy’s 13 speech

The Diªn Hång 14 conference shook violently all moons and stars

The H­ưng §¹o’s 15 appeal made perplexedly to almost generals and soldiers

Passing ten years he had to lay on thorns and to taste bile

For frightening the V­ư¬ng Th«ng’s 16 gangs out of their wits

His earth-shaking battle fought against aggressors,

For breaking out the SÜ NghÞ 17 and soldiers’ souls and vital spirits...

The twentieth century:

The liberation flags droved away the darkness

 Uncle Hå’ s far-resounding distinction came to East and West.

The whole world stopped the colonial calamities 18

The imperialist’s dreams broken into clouds and smoke 19.

So, knowing:

The rich countries are of not many soldier’s foods only

But also the powerful nations depend on morality

To see s¬n hµ-x· t¾c 20 (the country and state) is the holy homeland

To take the independence and freedom is such a precious thing 21.

Nowadays, posterities are:

Sixty and one provinces and cities remember  our ancestors

Fifty four nations and ethnic minorities look for our root and branches

 From the bundle bearing a hundred children

                                              we love each other in harmony like blood relationship

On the base of a tree trunk with a hundred branches

                                         we attach each other forever like close glue and paint friendship

Building the fortune, when sister falls down, her younger one helps to rise up.

Meeting the distress, the gourds have to love the pumpkins 22

Four directions: North, South, East, West

A hundred family names: female, male, youth, oldster.

From a thousand yards coming here to welcome with feeling greatly pleased

We organize profoundly respectful the great anniversary

Dear the Emperors’ Ancestors with the ten thousand holy positions

Pleased, help your children to know your hundred teachings.

Now, the meeting is in:

The Party completely succeeds in the new change of thinking process

Everyone feels elated and builds together the economy

The rich and powerful road has been widespread

The civilized life is more and more beautiful

Though the favorable opportunities are abundant

But the miserably hard challenges are left uneasily.

In the whole planet there abounds unjustness

The cruel cliques accustomed to egoism greed and cruel habits

Putting “to compete in equality”, but the rich countries

                                         are intentionally harmful to the poor ones

Speaking “to trade in freedom”, that the big fishes

                                swallow more and more the small ones

But thinking of that:

In international relations, it’s necessary to extend.

Connecting the globe is the general trend

Leadership needs to open up the road

And our nations are the solid will

Our intellect is more clever and creative

Our tradition is very humane and greatly just

Everyone learns for stretching farer than the ten thousand highness intelligence

The whole country emulates and wakes up the potential from eternities

Uncle Hå admonished:

Succeed in the duties,

                                         stretch every difficulty,

win every enemy

                      Think little of powerful authority,

do not flinch from destitute circumstance,

be not fond of wealth.

To build the fortune with much distinguished service.

How great our Fatherland’s Ancestors are!

 To transmit every argument to the late generations

How clear-sighted Uncle Hå is!

Your children swear:

Would build the powerful and prosperous country 

Would live in peace and friendship with humanity

 A thousand lives of the genius Hång L¹c are lightening!

Ten thousand yards of the impetuous Hïng Emperors are highest!



1. The first ancestor’s death anniversary of the Hïng Emperors was the big anniversary of our country. This was organized first and distinguished by Governors on March, 10 MËu Th©n lunar calendar-2000.

2. In Hanese h¹c tr¾ng means B¹ch H¹c (white flamingos). This is a local name in the ViÖt Tr× town, near the Hïng pagoda.

3. Three big rivers namely §µ, Thao and L« rivers, they connect to the flows in the B¹ch H¹c junction and become the Hång river running down.

4. It has been transmitted by oral tradition that the land surrounding the Hïng pagoda includes more than one hundred peaks. They were seen to be a figure of a hundred elephants, which always attend the royal ancestor’s land.

5. Legend has it that L¹c Long Qu©n married ¢u C¬, then spawned a bundle, in which a hundred eggs swelled into a hundred children. They had grown up, later. ¢u C¬ and fifty children came to the mountainous area. L¹c Long Qu©n and fifty children had gone to the sea. They exploited a waste land and built the homeland.

6. Phï §æng is Saint Giãng, who had the distinguished service to fight the ¢n enemy and to defend our homeland.

7. S¬n Tinh or the T¶n Viªn S¬n genie, who helped Vietnamese to harness river water.

8. Chö §ång Tö: The poor young fisher met suddenly Tiªn Dung, who was King Hïng’s daughter. They loved each other and married. Later, Chö §ång Tö became the immortal saint of the Vietnamese Buddhism.

9. Mai An Tiªm married a daughter of the King Hïng. Making mistake later, the King Hïng oppressed him into the waste island in the Nga S¬n sea (Thanh Hãa prov.). Believing himself in labor hands, he and his wife worked hard and looked for a living and didn’t want other men’s help. Legend has it that Mai An Tiªm was the first man to know and grow water-melon in ViÖt

10. Phïng H­ng lived in the §ư­êng L©m village (Hµ T©y prov.). He and his young brother rose up in arms against the (Chinese) §­êng oppressive dynasty from 766 to 789 yy.

11. Lý BÝ or namely Lý B«n rose up in arms against the (Chinese) L­¬ng oppressive dynasty from 542 to 543 yy., then built himself into the Emperor namely Lý Nam §Õ (Emperor).

12. Ng« V­ư¬ng or Ng« QuyÒn had fought the Nam H¸n (Southern Han) army under leadership of Hoµng Thao general. He defeated the ferocious enemies, cut Hoµng Thao’s head on the B¹ch §»ng river in 938 y.

13. Th¸i óy shows Lý Th­êng KiÖt’s name: In 1075, the Tèng army aggressed ViÖt Nam under leadership of Qu¸ch Quú and TriÖu TiÕt generals. Lý Thư­êng KiÖt lead to build the defensive line along the Như­ Nguyªt bank (another name: CÇu river). Legend has it that in mid-night at the Trư­¬ng Hèng and Tr­ư¬ng H¸t’s pagoda, nearly the Như­ NguyÖt river there were four poetic sentences resounding as follows:

The Southern Emperor reigns the Southern nation’s mountains and rivers

Heaven’s book has clearly marked our border

Those enemies who dare to invade our land

Will surely withstand miserable loss.*

*After NguyÔn Phan QuÕ Mai and J. Fossenbell’s translation). This is the Lý Th­êng KiÖt’s poem in Hanese language on title ”The Southern nation’s mountains and rivers”(1019-1105). It seems to be the first declaration of independence of ViÖt
Nam, later.

14. Diªn Hång conference: On December, Gi¸p Th©n lunar calendar (1284), the Nguyªn-M«ng army under leadership of Tho¸t Hoan were going to aggress the Great ViÖt. The TrÇn Th¸nh T«ng Emperor invited many elderly persons in the Diªn Hång court hall to have a salangane banquet and to ask the tricks for struggling against enemies. Everyone was of the same mind and told him to have to fight the enemies.

15. In 1283-1284 yy., for making ready the intellects and mobilizing the Great ViÖt ‘s general officers and soldiers to concentrate all forces and to beat the Nguyªn M«ng’s aggressors, Royal H­ng §¹o-TrÇn Quèc TuÊn has written the appeal to the officers. It was worthy to be the thousand year old forceful essay.

16. The Lam S¬n rising in arms under leadership of Lª Lîi was ten years (1418-1427), defeated the Minh aggressors having the general ringleader namely V­¬ng Th«ng and secured independence and freedom for our country.

17. SÜ NghÞ (T«n SÜ NghÞ) was the general commanding of army of 29 ten-thousand Thanh soldiers aggressing ViÖt
Nam. In spring of KØ DËu lunar calendar (1789), with a battle in Ngäc Håi-§èng §a (Hµ Néi) only, Quang Trung beat completely the powerful Thanh army for whole defending the country’s sovereignty.

18. The §iÖn Biªn Phñ victory in 1954 was the beginning of the collapse of the old colonialism in the world.

19. In 1975 the victory of the Hå ChÝ Minh’s campaign liberated South ViÖt
Nam, united our country, made the heavy crisis of the new colonialism’s hegemonic dream by U.S. imperialist ringleader.

20. S¬n hµ means mountains and rivers. X· is a place for genie of the earth. T¾c is a place for worshiping the agricultural deity. These two places are holy areas. They are chosen to be the symbols for our country.

21. Uncle Hå usually cited the M¹nh Tö ‘s word to admonish and call repeatedly the revolutionary officers.

22. Based on the idea from the two sentences in the Vietnamese folklore source are as follows:

Oh gourd, love the pumpkin.

Though of different species, you share the same trellis


Nguyen Kinh Quoc
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