Con Dao: Preparing the 238th death anniversary of Mrs. Phi Yen

Wednesday - 08/11/2023 10:22
Con Dao plans to celebrate the 238th death anniversary of Mrs Phi Yen on November 28-30, 2023, (16th-18th day of the October lunar calendar).
This is a grand festival that brings typical cultural value of Con Dao people every year, as well as an opportunity to promote and attract tourists, promote the values ​​of relics and landscapes, contribute to raising awareness and responsibility of officials and people in preserving and promoting the value of national cultural heritage, connecting with tourism activities, contributing to local economic and social development, maintain and serve the religious needs of people and tourists for cultural heritage values ​​at An Son temple relic.

The death anniversary of Mrs. Phi Yen at An Son Shrine
An Son shrine relic is located approximately 2 kilometers southwest of the center of Kong Island. It is a small temple built in 1958 during the “Americans and their puppets” period, worshiping Lady. Phi Yen - the King's wife, customarily called Mrs. Le Thi Ram and Admiral Ngoc Lan - a loyal Mandarin to Mrs. Phi Yen and Prince Hoi An (Prince Hoi An is the son of Lady Phi Yen and the King, customarily called Prince Cai).

According to the legend, Lady Phi Yen advised the King that fighting the Tây Sơn dynasty is a domestic affair and that he shouldn't ask foreigners for help as if he would beat the Tây Sơn with foreign help that the victory wouldn't be glorious. And that he would have trouble later with asking foreigners for assistance. Not only did the King refuse to listen to her advice, he also got angry with her and suspected that she was secretly colluding with the Tây Sơn rebels. Because of his suspicions of her, he planned to kill her. Thanks to the intercession of the Gods he imprisoned her in a cave on the small island of Côn Lôn, later that mountain was named Hòn Bà. Afterward, she was rescued from the cave by the villagers and moved to Co Ong village.  In the 10th lunar month of 1785, An Hải village held a festival to make vegetarian sacrifices to the gods. They asked Phi Yên to attend for more solemnity. That night, she was "corrupted" by the butcher Biện Thi, he just touched her arm which startled her, and she began to loudly shout, to preserve her reputation, she cut off her arm and then committed suicide because it was supposed to be the dignity of a concubine to remain untouched. Since the death of Lady Hoàng Phi Yến on the 18th day of the 10th month of the lunar calendar in 1785  the people of An Hải (what is today Côn Đảo) admired the faithful and chaste woman so much that they built a shrine in her honor to worship her, this shrine was called An Sơn temple (An Sơn miếu). The villagers would organize an annual mourning festival on the anniversary of death which became the Lady Phi Yen Anniversary of death Festival. On 18th April 2007, the People’s Committee of Ba Ria – Vung Tau province declared Decision 1442/QĐ-UBND to recognize An Son shrine relic as a province-level cultural historical relic.
Activities during event
Traditional sports activities for the local community, including Badminton, volleyball, football, beach volleyball, climbing tournaments, and cycling for the environment..., create a series of cultural and sports events, attracting the community and developing tourism.
- November 26, 2023 (Sunday): Organizing the Mountain Climbing tournament
+ Time: 06:30 - 07:00
+ Departure location: An Son shrine, area 3.

* Activities taking place in three days: from November 28 to 30, 2023 (on the 16th, 17th-18th of the 10th lunar month):
1. Regular activities: set up booths of Con Dao specialties and souvenirs, and recycled products.
2. Activities on November 28, 2023 (October 16 of the lunar calendar)

- From 06:00 to 08:00: The opening ceremony the 238th death anniversary of Mrs Phi Yen, and sport activities will be held, as follows:
+ Cycling for the environment.
+ Tug of war game with a competition of 238 participants.
- From 8:00 to 10:00: Organize folk games.
- From 09:00 to 11:00: rehearsal for Prince An's parade.
- From 14:00 to 17:00: Children's Painting Competition with the Theme of "I Love Con Dao"
- From 15:30 to 17:30: Folk cake competition.
- From 19:00 to 21:30: Art program "Don Ca Tai Tu".
3. On November 29th, 2023


- 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.: Organize a flower and fruit arrangement contest.
- 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.: Organize award ceremonies for competitions (painting, flower arranging, folk cakes).
- 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.: Procession of Hoi An Prince tablet.
- 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.: Ceremony to worship fairies and sticky rice; Offer flowers and a tray of five fruits.
- From 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.: Don Ca Tai Tu music exchange program (sponsored by Dat Do Tour Travel Services Company Limited, Dat Do district, Ba Ria - Vung Tau province)
4. On November 31th, 2023

- 10:00 to 11:00: Official ceremony.
- 11: 00 to 13:30: Hold a vegetarian party.
- 13: 30-17:00: The organizing committee delegation departs and brings back the tablet of Prince  Hoi An back to Co Ong, ending the ceremony.

The Management Board of Con Dao National Tourist Area announced an invitation to tourists to attend the event.​

Author: Xuan Da


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