Thousands of people worship a snake

VietNamNet Bridge – Since the lunar New Year, thousands of people have flocked to Tan Son village in Tan Dinh Commune, Lang Giang District, Bac Giang Province to see and worship a snake because they believe that it is the God of Snake.

superstition, sacred snake, worship, altar 

The "sacred snake".

The snake appeared behind the old Temple of Tan Ninh, which was classified as a relic. Local people put up a tent and made an altar to worship the snake. The snake’s hole is under a ruined wall, surrounded by five dead trees with a diameter of about 40cm each.

Reporters were at the site in the morning of March 11. About 30-40 people had already gathered around the snake’s hole. Several people were praying in front of the hole. Some people said they came from the cities of Bac Giang, Bac Ninh and nearby districts such as Yen Dung and Luc Nam. At the trees around the snake’s hole, pictures of the “sacred” snake were hung.

At about 10.30 am, it was sunny and someone shouted happily: “The sacred snake is coming”. From a small hole under the wall, a brown snake of around 80cm long crept out. Many people took photos with their cell phones and cameras. The snake just quietly crawled out and lied on the wall.

An old man, named Hoa, introduced himself as "the village patriarch" stood up to pray then others followed him to pray and put small money on the altar. Some asked the old man to pray to the snake for their fortune.

According to Hoa, the “sacred snake” appeared for the first time on the first day of the lunar year. The next day, a truck came to transporting a heap of sand near the snake’s hole but it couldn’t start.

Another old man said: “The God of Snake is very sacred. Some people who came here to see him but didn’t believe in his sacredness and spoke ill of him had nightmare. They had to come back here to make their excuses to the snake to have good sleep.”

Local officials said that the snake looks like a water snake and the local authorities had told local people that this is just a phenomenon of superstition.

superstition, sacred snake, worship, altar 

The altar for the snake.

“Some psychics and shamans took advantage of this to perform superstitious activities but we stopped them. We have also instructed the police to guard the site and place a ban of gathering there,” said Mr. Nguyen Van Ha, Chair of Tan Dinh Commune.

The commune’s Vice Chair, Mr. Ngo Khai Hoan, added that the authority’s actions have made positive effect. The number of visitors has declined sharply. By March 8, thousands of people came to worship the snake and donated over VND20 million. This amount is now kept by Tan Ninh temple.

Some local people wanted to build a temple for the snake with the above amount of money but the local government did not allow.

Tien Phong
superstition, sacred snake, worship, altar