Most visitors coming to Ha Thai village in Duyen Thai commune, Thuong Tin district of Hanoi are impressed with the unique view of Northern Vietnam with banyan trees, wells or and the communal house.
Ha Thai temple worships two patron gods of the village, namely Le Bui Si Luong and Dinh Thi Trach (Mrs. Lay), the woman who lost her life fighting the fierce tiger in order to save her villagers from paying it tribute. Legend has it that, in the past when this land’s population was scattered, there was a fierce tiger which came to the village, hunting and feeding on the people and their cattle. To have peace, the villagers have to sacrifice a person each year every eleventh day of tenth month of the Lunar Calendar. At that time, Mrs. Lay was old, and alone with no husband and children. She volunteered to be sacrificed to feed the tiger. On the date, the tiger came and took her away but since then, it never came back, so the villagers presumed that the lady would probably killed the tiger.
For the purpose of showing respect and appreciation to Mrs. Lay, the villagers built a temple to worship her (now Ha Thai temple) as she became the village’s protector since then. They picked the tenth day of the eleventh month as the day of celebration.
Patron saint Le Bui Si Luong was born on March 10, 1544 (the year of the Dragon) and was an outstanding person who master the military art and martial art. When the king of the Le dynasty was overthrown, he led an army of 100,000 soldiers and fought on the Le’s side. When marching through Ha Thai village, he saw that this location was full of potential with crowded population, he then settled down here. He passed away on October 5, 1597 (year of the Chicken) and he was worshipped as the other god of the village.
The festival in this area was held on three days, from the 9th to the 11th day of the Lunar Calendar, Ha Thai village is also very famous for its lacquer industry which has lasted almost 200 years. The products have been known for being gloss and smooth, of high durability and beauty. Moreover, they were shaped from the hands of the most skillful makers.
Based on lacquer making, the people in this village have become richer. Nowadays, sideways of the roads has been asphalted, businesses thrive, and this place becomes more crowded, more buildings are erected. The ancient beauty of Ha Thai’ gate still remains unchanged as it is simple, peaceful but hidden deep inside is an epic historical and traditional culture.
Along with the village architecture, the old alleys, which used to represent the development of the village’s economy, have been enhanced to catch up with the trend of globalization.