Hùng Vương

Hùng Vương

Hùng Vương (Hán tự: ) was the first king of Văn Lang or Lạc Việt (as Vietnam was known at the time). Legend tells of the dragon lord, Lạc Long Quân and the mountain fairy, (sometimes a Chinese immortal) Âu Cơ who had 100 children. As the parents belonged to different realms, they parted ways, each taking 50 of the 100 sons to their respective homes. Hùng Vương the eldest went to live by the coast, the domain of dragons.

According to legend, he came to power in 2880 BC, ruling an area covering what is now Vietnam and part of China. He founded the Hồng Bàng Dynasty, which ruled Vietnam until 258 BC. His dynasty existed in Vietnamese prehistory, but much of the lore from this time is now lost to the ages. His sons were always named after him and many stories include either him or another of his offsprings. Stories tell of the heroics of eighteen different Hùng Vươngs (one explains the introduction of the watermelon with the help of Hùng Vương X) but fail to account for the numerous unknown rulers of Vietnam during their two millennia of sovereignty.

The Hồng Bàng Dynasty was overthrown by An Dương Vương from the upland kingdom of Thục, but his regime fell to the Chinese, thus beginning millennia of Chinese domination.

It is likely that the name Hùng Vương is a combination of the two Vietnamese words "Hùng", which means "brave" and "Vương", which means "king". The name Hùng Vương might have been a title bestowed on a chieftain. The Hùng Vương would have been the head chieftain of Văn Lang which at the time was composed of feudal communities of rice farmers (similar to the way the Holy Roman Emperor was elected to rule by fellow German princes.)

The Vietnamese government has recently announced that there will be a new public holiday in Vietnam to celebrate the Hung kings called Giỗ Tổ Hùng Vương in Hùng temple. It will be on the 10th day of the 3rd lunar month which in 2007 was 26 April.

External links

* [http://www.richmond.edu/~ebolt/history398/HungVuong.html Vietnam's Prehistory and Legends]
* [http://vietnamnews.vnanet.vn/showarticle.php?num=05SOC240307 Vietnam News]


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