Craft of making ‘chung’ and ‘giay’ cakes in Phu Tho recognised as a national heritage
The craft of making ‘chung’ (square glutinous rice cake) and ‘giay’ (glutinous rice cake) in the northern ancestral province of Phu Tho has been recognised as national intangible cultural heritage under a decision signed by the Minister of Culture, Sports, and Tourism.
The honoured craft is practiced in Viet Tri City, Cam Khe District, and Tam Nong District of Phu Tho Province.
For the Vietnamese, making ‘chung’ and ‘giay’ cakes is a popular way to express gratitude to their ancestors and homeland. The cakes are also indispensable offerings at major traditional festivals and celebrations of the Vietnamese people, including the Hung Kings Temple Festival, and the Lunar New Year (Tet) Festival.
‘Chung’ and ‘giay’ cakes were invented by the 18th prince of Hung King in the contest of looking for his successor.
According to the legend, Prince Lang Lieu made round-shaped and square-shaped cakes as offerings on the occasion of spring, with the round ‘giay’ cake symbolising the sky and the square ‘chung’ cake symbolising the Earth (under the ancient Vietnamese perception).
The cakes he offered were of such special meaning and delicious taste that Lang Lieu was selected to be the next king.