Vietnamese celebrate Valentine’s Day pretty much just like Americans: cholocates, roses …and all the boring stuff 🙂
So I decided not to bore you guys with another “How we celebrate Valentine’s Day in Vietnam” post.
Instead, I will give you a love story from Vietnam this time. According to many Vietnamese, this story is the equivalent of “Romeo and Juliet” of Western Culture.
The story is kinda long!
So if you’re ready for some love, just get ready to read on (really bad unintended poem, sorry!)
LOVE STORY OF MY CHAU AND TRONG THUY
After helping King An DuongVuong – king of ancient Vietnam – build Co Loa citadel (see pic), the Golden Turtle Guardian Angel offered him one of his claws to make an “Invincible Crossbow” to protect the citadel from enemies. With the magic from the Golden Turtle Guardian Angel’s claw, every arrow shot from the crossbow would hit thousands of enemies at the same time. The king extremely treasured the crossbow so he always hung it in his bedroom.
At that time, Trieu Da was the governor of a country adjoining Vietnam in the north. His desires to occupy Vietnam led him to attack Vietnam many times. However, just as his strong army approached Co Loa citadel, thousands of his troops were killed because of the powerful and deadly “Invincible Crossbow”. Not giving up just yet, Trieu Da sent his son named Trong Thuy to Vietnam to seek a marriage alliance…
Trong Thuy then met My Chau, a dear daughter of King An Duong Vuong. She was the most beautiful girl of the country at that time. They were soon in love with each other and to be seen every where in the citadel. Witness the passionate love of the young couple, the king didn’t hesitate to let Trong Thuy marry his daughter. One night, Trong Thuy asked his wife why there was no one could attack Co Loa citadel and how could the Vietnamese army be so powerful. The innocent princess replied her husband that the true power lies in the magic of the “Invincible Crossbow”. She immediately took the crossbow from her father’s bedroom and showed it to the man. She also told him how to use the crossbow.
A day later, Trong Thuy asked the king for permission to visit his father-Trieu Da. He told his father the secrets that he learned from My Chau. They then agreed on a plan of switching the real “Invincible Crossbow” with a fake one. When Trong Thuy came back to Vietnam, he secretly broke into the king’s bedroom and switched the magic crossbow with the fake one.
Several days later, Trong Thuy once again asked the king for permission for returning to his country. Worrying that the potential war between the two countries would separate them, Trong Thuy asked his beloved wife how could he find her if they were ever divided. My Chau told her husband that she had a fur coat so she would make marks on the way she went with fur in order for him to find her.
In a few days, Trieu Da again rose troops to Vietnam. King An Duong Vuong didn’t take it seriously when hearing the news. He waited until the enemy reached to Co Loa citadel and started using the crossbow to fight back. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the “Invincible Crossbow” that he was holding. The citadel was occupied at last. King An Duong Vuong had to evade with his daughter on a horse. The princess remembered what she had told her husband before they separated so she took the fur coat along with her and marked the way with fur.
King An Duong Vuong and his daughter were on the horse for days; but because of the fur marks, Trieu Da troops were still able to trace and find them. When the father and daughter reached the sea, the King was so desperate that he kneeled down, turned his face to the sea and prayed the Golden Turtle Guardian Angel for helps. The Golden Turtle Guardian Angel appeared and told the King that the “real” enemy is no one else but his beloved daughter. Waking up to reality, the King drew sword, killed his daughter and jumped into the sea.
Later, Trong Thuy followed the marks to the sea and found his wife lying dead on the sand. He burst out crying, brought her body back to bury in the citadel. In the end, Trong Thuy also ended his life by jumping into the well where his wife usually washed her hair.