The Hai Ba Trung (Trung Sisters) Temple Festival is held annually on lunar January 6 in Me Linh Commune, Me Linh District, Hanoi. It is the birthplace of the two sisters Trung Trac and Trung Nhi, two famous Vietnamese heroines who rode elephants to lead their troops to defeat the foreign invaders. Here they proclaimed themselves the new empresses after gaining independence for the country in the early years of Vietnam.
The Festival opens with the procession of the king’s palanquins, fighting-elephants and offerings from the Ha Loi Communal House to the ancient complex of Hai Ba Trung Temple. The procession is held with jubilance and excitement with colourful flags, drumbeats, gongs and musical sounds performed by an octet. The respected elders in the village are selected to beat drums and strong men and beautiful girls carry the two palanquins during the procession. On both sides of the village road, the villagers display their offerings to welcome the procession.
The Festival also includes many cultural activities, such as traditional dances, wrestling and folk games of swinging and earthen pot-beating.
The Festival is of great spiritual and religious significance. It is a cultural event to educate young people about the patriotic tradition and to salute the country and its heroic women.