Prominent at the event were Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Ngoc Thien, acting Chief representative UNESCO Vietnam Susan Vize, and many members of foreign diplomatic corps in Vietnam.
The worship is based on an ancient system of beliefs in the incarnation of various deities channeled through mediums and believed to provide good health and prosperity.
The ceremony showcased rites and art performances honouring the unique values of the Mother Goddesses' cultural and historical tradition.
Nam Dinh is the largest pilgrimage centre for those who practise Mother Goddesses worship, with 287 temples and vestiges relating to beliefs across the province.
The provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism has prepared a plan to promote the beliefs widely in order to provide a more thorough understanding of the heritage, in association with promoting the image of the province, which in turn will generate more opportunities for local tourism and socio-economic development.
Speaking at the ceremony, Minister Thien pledged Vietnam’s commitment to preservation of the heritage after it officially received UNESCO recognition. The highlight of the programme will be activities to improve awareness, especially among youth, in preserving and promoting Mother Goddesses beliefs.
The practice meets belief-related needs by people in their daily life and has been closely associated with historical and cultural figures, such as Lieu Hanh (referred to as the Mother of the World), as well as other spirits considered to be legendary national heroes.
Vietnam submitted the dossier on the Practices Related to the Vietnamese Beliefs in the Mother Goddesses of Three Realms for UNESCO recognition in 2015, but the consideration process was delayed until the end of last year.
Vietnam’s Mother Goddesses worship was officially recognised by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity at the 11th Conference of the Inter-Governmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, which took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from November 28 to December 3 last year.