the past years, Thang Tam Temple and Hon Ba Island (Vung Tau City) has been
being a cultural and spiritual destination that attracts a large number of pilgrims
to visist Vung Tau city.
Thang Tam Temple was built under King Minh
Mang’s dynasty. At the first time, this temple was built by bamboo. In 1835,
local citizens collected money to repair the temple and cover its roof by
tiles. In 1965, the temple was rebuilt and maintained its architecture to now.
The giant whale skeleton picked by Vung Tau’s fishermen 100 years ago is being kept
in the Whale’s tomb in Thang Tam Temple.
Thang Tam Temple has been being a highlight
of Vung Tau’s tourism. This temple welcomed about 500 turns of pilgrims visiting
and worshiping per day including foreign tourists from China, Korea, USA and
Europe. “Every year, we appeal about 7.000 domestic and international tourists
to travel to BR-VT and Thang Tam Temple is a necessary place to stop in our
tours. This temple expressed the specific features of religion, culture and the
progress of reclaiming of Vung Tau’s people through its architecture,
worshiping custom and oral folk stories.” Mr. Nguyen Van Lam, the tour guide of
Vidotour Tourist Company (Ho Chi Minh city) said.
|Thang Tam Temple
Every year, Thang Tam Temple holds 3 big
festivals including Cau An ceremony (praying for the peace) from 17th
to 20th of the second month of Lunar calendar, Nghinh Ong ceremony (Welcoming
the Lord Whale) from 16th to 18th of the tenth month of
Lunar calendar) and Mieu Ba (Lady Temple) from 16th to 18th
of the tenth month of Lunar year. According to Management Board of Thang Tam
Temple historic vestige, during the recent years, local authority upgraded the
scale of provincial big festivals. For example, the Welcoming the Lord Whale
Festival is added many artistic, sports and cultural programs that not only met
recreational demand of local people, improved feast’s value but also attracted more
tourists and developed local tourism.
According to Mr. Truong Van Khoi, Manager of Thang
Tam Temple historic vestige, the ceremony of welcoming Nymph from Lady Temple
at Lady Island to Thang Tam Temple is a key ritual held in Mieu Ba Festival
(from 16th to 18th of the tenth month of lunar calendar).
Therefore, Lady Island and the Temple located in Back beach has a close
relationship with Thang Tam Temple. Management Board of Thang Tam Temple is
completing the documents to ask for ranking to Lady Island. In the near future,
the Management Board of Thang Tam Temple also creates a professional tour guide
staff; gathers historical information and official rituals of this vestige to
publish to the community.
During the important full moon festivals such
as First full moon of lunar New Year), full moon of the forth month of lunar calendar
and full moon of the seventh month of lunar calendar, thousands of tourists and
local citizens pilgrimage to Lady Temple on Lady Island for worshiping. At low
tide, a sharp rock road is exposed which lead to Lady Island. Thanks to the
beautiful landscape and natural location, Lady Island was chosen by Provincial
Construction and Planning Center to preserve and invest to be a spiritual
destination of tourists and local people.
Dan Chau – Translated