Thầy Village (nowadays called as Thụy Khê Village) is located at the foot of Sài Sơn Mountain, and belongs to Quốc Oai District, Hà Nội.
The mountain has a number of old pagodas the most well known of which is the Thầy Pagoda where is also worshipped Từ Đạo Hạnh, a monk of the Lý Dynasty who hailed from Láng Village (Hà Nội) and was endowed with supernatural powers.
Visitors come to this village all the year round for several reasons. The village and Sài Sơn Mountain provide well-known scenic sports involving a nice lake (Long Trì Lake) which has in the middle of it a big house fro viewing yearly water puppets shows and two wooden bridges with curved tiled roofs, and many beautiful mountain caves. The mountain also has, as its foot and on its slopes, a number of old pagodas the most well known of which is the Thầy Pagoda where is also worshiped Từ Đạo Hạnh, a monk of the Lý Dynasty who hailed from Láng Village (Hà Nội) and was endowed with supernatural powers.
Both the Thầy and Láng Pagodas Festivals are held in early March of each year, but differ from each other in terms of specific rites and ceremonies.
Thầy Pagoda Festival
The Thầy Pagoda Festival is actually a joint festival of four villages (Thụy Khê, Đa Phúc, Khánh Tân and Sài Khê). While the whole area has many pagodas, the Festival is held mainly in Thiên Phúc Pagoda, alias Thầy Pagoda, which comprises three buildings: ante-chamber, Buddha’s Building, and the Building of the Genius. It is said that Từ Đạo Hạnh led a religious life and died in this very pagoda. At the end of his life, he sat in meditation for several months without food and drink and died in the process. Thereafter, the people put his withered corpse in the Building of the Genius for the purpose of worship. The Ming invaders who ruled over Việt Nam from 1407 to 1427, took Từ Đạo Hạnh’s corpse to a mount and burned it. Thereafter, the local population collected his ashes and mingled them with earth in order to make a statue for worship. From then on, the mount was called the Burning Mount.
Ceremonies connected with the Thầy Pagoda Festival started from March 5 to 9 (lunar year) and comprise: giving a bath to Từ Đạo Hạnh’s statue, presenting incense sticks, tablets escorting procession, folk theatrical plays (Chèo), chess games, water puppets show, recital of the feats of Từ Đạo Hạnh and more.