Gourds and the Mother Au Co

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Going through the Suoi Giang district in Yen Bai province in the Northwest of Vietnam, visitors will see natural stone processing shops. Yen Bai area is abundant with original rocks which have beautiful formations. Among various different products, the Feng Shui stone gourds are unique and are not seen anywhere else. These stone gourds are simple, very rustic, and look like pumpkins growing on the roof of the ethnic groups in this area.

See the best tours in Vietnam:

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Yet the stone gourds have special meaning and play an important role among ethnic groups. It refers to the image of the mother Au Co. Vietnamese people all know the legend that the Au Co born one bundle of hundred eggs, which then hatches one hundred boys called Bach Viet. So Vietnamese people call themselves "people of the same bundle", that is, they are brothers of one family. 

The National Shrine of Au Co is built to worship the great Mother in Hien Luong Commune, Ha Hoa District, Phu Tho Province. The entrance displays two sentences:

Ever since the country was declared, siblings of the Fairy has called this the National Origin

For all the defenses and reconstructions, people all over have admired the Kingdom.

The Au Co has origin as a Fairy which is regarded as the number 1. Mother Au Co got married to the Dragon Lord of the Sea and together established the Van Lang as an independent country. It is believed that from Hien Luong Commune, Mother Au Co flies back to the Heaven. 

Mother Au Co, born one hundred eggs which hatched one hundred sons, was the great ancestor of Bach Viet ethnic group. The centre of the Kingdom was in Nghia Linh Mountain believed to be the centre of the universe. Phong Chau land is a meeting place of three rivers with scenic mountains and water of the Heaven and Earth. Today the place is close to Viet Tri City, meaning that the Viet ethnic group will persist forever.  


Under the reign of King Le Thanh Tong in 1645, the King issued a decree that constructed the Au Co Temple as we see today.  The job was assigned to the commune People of Hien Luong. In the 15th century, The Temple was repaired by the Imperial Hau Le Dynasty. In the 19th century, the Nguyen Dynasty once again recognized the Mother Au Co Temple as the National Shrine. On 03/08/1991, The Shrine was recognized by the Ministry of Culture and Information of Viet Nam as the place of national historical culture.

The Temple of Au Co is an architectural work of high value displaying ancient architectural structure temples and pagodas, the precious statue of Au Co and many priceless antiques. The Temple area is a rectangular piece of land and has a length of 200m and a width of about 150 m surrounded by a high wall.


See other travel updates of this destination:

- The Au Co: The Legend of Dragon and Fairy

- Worshipping the Au Co: A Popular Vietnamese Religious Belief

- Mother Au Co lullaby

- Storm Gaemi to hit central Viet Nam

- Mysteriously deep lakes in Vietnam UNESCO World Heritage

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