Dong Ky village belongs to Dong Quang commune, Tu Son district, Bac Ninh province. Every year, on the 4th day of the 1st lunar month, Dong Ky village holds a firecracker festival.
Legend has it that during the reign of the 6th Hung King (BC), Thien Cuong, a villager of Dong Ky, joined the army to repel the An invaders. As Thien Cuong fought bravely and achieved many feats, the Hung King gave him the title of Thien Cuong Lord, and the Dong Ky village started worshipping him.
Burning firecrackers to welcome Thien Cuong, the returning hero, became part of the legend and the basis of the Dong Ky Firecracker festival. To prepare for the festival, a number of families in the village are selected, prior to the Lunar New Year, to produce the firecrackers.
On the 4th day of the first lunar month starts the procession ceremony of firecrackers. In the front ranks of the procession are the festival banners, the musical company and various kinds of palanquins and articles of worship. Then come the 10 selected families with their firecrackers and food offerings. Each family is represented by its 16 young members who carry a big firecracker or a tray of smaller firecrackers. As they walk, the young men shout slogans to honour Hero Thien Cuong and hold up the trays of firecrackers over their heads.
The procession comes to an end when the firecrackers reach the communal house. During the procession, the chief owners of the firecrackers are dressed in traditional festival costumes with red cloth turbans and belts and hold burning joss-sticks. When the firecrackers have reach the communal house, they receive the order to detonate the firecrackers.
After 3 rounds of drums, the chief owners turns at the communal house and kowtows three times, then walks around his tray of firecrackers and ignites them with the berning joss-sticks before the eager observation of the onlookers. The firecrackers give deafening explosions, belching a lot of smoke and broken pieces of paper, amidst the sounds of drums and gongs and shouts from the crowd.
A prize is bestowed on the firecracker which is most nicely shaped and decorated and meets the specifications and the set criteria and goes off safely. The prize comprises a moon-shape rice pie, one orange and a piece of sugar cane, which symbolize the food ration of Thien Cuong's troops. In addition to the firecracker performance, there are many other traditional games such as a wrestling contest, a chess contest, the swing game and songs...