Post date: 03/15/2018 | 05:03 - Posted By: VietTheatre - Category: Vietnam's Mother Goddesses

Vietnam is a multiethnic country with many kinds of religions and beliefs. It’s very difficult to differ or recognize such various indigenous beliefs as the Mother Goddess Religion and The belief of Mother Goddess Worship, that have a lot of original traces of an agricultural country.

Mother Goddess Religion is an indigenous belief and originated in the old days when The Mothers were known as Creators who maintained universe and supported human beings. People gave them all their wishes and hope for luke, health and success.

Mother Goddess Religion is not a homogeneous belief or religion. It’s a system of beliefs with 3 classes, which are different but relate and affect each other, included: The belief of Nymph Worship, The belief of Worshipping Mothers of the country and The belief of Mother Goddess of Three or Four Realms Worship.


Ancient bronze statue of Mother Goddess Lieu Hanh (center) who was considered as the reincarnation of
Mother Goddess of Haven in Ba Kieu temple in Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi. Source: Viet Theatre

The belief of Nymphs Worship had general, overview traits that were suitable for an agricultural society where women played a very important role in real life. The belief of  Worshipping Mothers of Country has grown on a basis of the first class. If the first and the second classes had native traits of country then the third class - the belief of Worshipping Mother Goddesses of Three or Four Realms was based on the classes above. Moreover, it was under influence of Taoism in China as well. However, it has gradually come back to the typical traits of a native belief by time. 

So, what’s about the belief of Mother Goddesses Worship?


Actress Thuc Hien in the role of Mother Goddess of Heaven (red costume) in the
Four Palaces Show of director Viet Tu. Source: Viet Theatre

It is almost said that the belief of Mother Goddesses Worship is a folklore belief with some typical traits, for example:

  • Mother Goddesses Worship was founded in the Matriarchy when people worship Nymphs or Mother Goddesses.
  • Mother Goddesses Worship has not enough required criteria in order to form a formal religion.
  • In the Mother Goddesses Worship, the faith depends a lot on personal feeling of the faithful, that means each has their own belief, not a part of the system.

Nowadays, people have no ideas where the belief of the Mother Goddesses Worship started in Việt’spiritual culture. Some think that it may have started when Vietnamese had to face to natural factors that couldn’t be controlled in their living. They considered all of the natural phenomena as Creators in a model of Mother Goddesses and worshipping them in the hope of being supported and protected all life.

It is known in another way as the belief of Mother Goddesses of Three or Four Palaces Region Worshipping, type of worshiping the Mother Goddesses, who rule/manage the universe.

Temples of Mother Goddesses are located all over the country from delta or plain areas to highland or mountains, both in Vietnam and overseas. In some areas, people built splendid temples, in some other places, they just built normal pagodas, small temples…Sometimes, you just realize signs of the belief of Mother Goddesses Worship through specific traits in the architecture of temples or in altar sections. All those specific traits are parts of components formed a type of a native belief in Vietnam