THE PRINCES IN FOUR PALACES REGION

Post date: 04/02/2018 | 02:04 - Posted By: VietTheatre - Category: Vietnam's Mother Goddesses

The princes in Four Palaces Region or The princes in the Viet beliefs in the Mother Goddess of Four Realms are Ten Princes in The Mother Goddess Worshipping with another name, Thập vị Ông Hoàng. They are seated below the rank of The Five Great Mandarins and The Four Ladies of Honor in the pantheistic system of Four Palaces Region. They are spirits in four palaces: heaven, Earth, Forest and Water. Legends about them associated with the historical figures or generals who serviced all life for the country.
In the pantheistic system of Four Palaces Region, we are familiar with the appearance of Bơ Thoải Prince (Ông Hoàng Bơ), The seventh Prince (Ông Hoàng Bảy), The Tenth Prince (Ông Hoàng Mười). Each wears a different color, which presents different palace. Some are worshipped at the main altar and some others are in their private sector.

The Princes were assumed to be on behalf of The King Fathers and Goddesses to help and support to people in business, career or studying. Sometimes, they give soldiers their choices, take mediums or get into a trance to consult a fortune teller, ect.

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An altar of The Ten Princes of Four Palaces, represented by four princes in The Ten, at Bảo Hà Temple, in Lào Cai Provine. - Source: Google

The princes are called by their numerical orders from The First Prince (Ông Hoàng Cả) to The Tenth Prince (Ông Hoàng Mười)

Ông Hoàng Cả - The First Prince

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The First Prince (Ông Hoàng Cả), who’s in the red, on the right of the top row (in the picture), represented of Heaven. He rarely descends on earth. - Source: Google

The First Prince of heaven is a saint of the Heaven. In the pantheistic system and hầu đồng rituals in The Mother Goddess Worshipping of The Four Realms, he represents to heaven and wears the red. He rarely descends on earth to attend a séance.

Ông Hoàng Đôi – The second Prince

Ông Hoàng Đôi is a saint of the Forest. It is said that he is Mán people. He was worshipped and venerated by people because of his help and support in protecting the country against invaders. Legends of him are associated with Bảo Hà temple in Lào Cai province. People said that he and The seventh Prince fought the enemies in Lê dynasty. In the pantheistic system, he is a saint of the Forest and in hầu đồng rituals, he wears the Green.

Ông Hoàng Bơ – The third Prince

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An altar of The Princes with three representatives, included: The Third Prince (Quan Hoàng Ba Bơ Thoải) on the left, The Tenth Prince (Quan Hoàng Mười) at the middle and The Seventh Prince (Quan Hoàng bảy) on the right.
Source: Google

Ông Hoàng Bơ or Ông Hoàng Ba – The Third Prince (“Bơ” means Ba in another way) or Ông Hoàng Bơ Thoải (means The Third Prince of The Water) is a saint of The Water Palace. Legend has it that, he was very good at Buddha Sasana, poetry and used to descend to help and support people, give businessman luck or bless students in study. In the pantheistic system or rituals in the Worship of Mother Goddesses, he wears the white, color of The Water. His feast is on June, 13rd and March, 7th in lunar calendar.

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Picture of a medium in offering ritual of hầu đồng on a reincarnation of The Third Prince
(Ông Hoàng Ba Bơ Thoải). This Prince is always in the white, which is symbolic of Water Realm. 
Source: Google

Ông Bắc Quốc – Bắc Quốc Prince

It was said that by folklore that Bắc Quốc Prince had been a Chinese general in Ming dynasty. When Qing dynasty ruled over China, he moved to Vietnam and thanked to his services to our country, he was worshipped by Vietnamese after his death.

Some mediums prayed in rituals that “Ông Bơ Bắc Quốc, Ông Bảy Bảo Hà, Ông Mười Nghệ An” (Bơ Bắc Quốc Prince, Bảy Bảo Hà Prince, Mười Nghệ An Prince). So, in hầu đồng rituals of The Worship of Mother Goddesses of Four Palaces Regions, people who are closed to him, usually go into a trance of him. He is in the Chinese dress while attending a séance.

Ông Hoàng Bảy – The seventh Prince

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The Seventh Prince or Quan Hoàng Bảy is a divine of The Forest Realm. He is usually in the blue or indigo and
descends on earth more often than others. - Source: Google

The seventh Prince or The Seventh Bảo Hà Prince is a saint of the Forest. Legends of him are associated with Bảo Hà palace, where his altar is located. Legend has it that, his taboo name was Nguyễn Hoàng Bảy. He was a mandarin guarding in Lào Cai in Lê dynasty. He supported to defend invaders, protect the country and sacrificed for people. After his death, he was conferred a title of “The first class Godhead” and many others by the courts.

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Picture of a medium in offering ritual of hầu đồng on a reincarnation of
The Seventh Prince (Ông Hoàng Bảy). - Source: Google

In the pantheistic system and rituals, he is in the blue or purple/indigo-blue and other times, in red or pink. His feast is on July, 17th in lunar calendar.

Ông Hoàng Bát – The eighth Prince

Ông Hoàng Bát is said to be a famous historical general, Nùng Trí Cao, who came from Quảng Nguyên (Cao bằng). People built template to worship him in order to be grateful for his deservation well of the country in defeating Song invendar and the court conferred him a title of The First class royal highest.

In the pantheistic system and rituals of The Worship of Mother Goddess of Four palaces Region, he is in the yellow. However, he rarely descends on rituals. His main altar is located at Kỳ Sầm temple, Vinh Quang, Hòa An, Cao bằng Province. His feast is on Jan, 10th in lunar calendar.

Ông Hoàng Chín – The ninth Prince

In the Worship of the Mother Goddesses of Four Palaces Region, Ông Hoàng Chín is known as Ông Chín Cờn Môn (The Ninth Prince in Cờn Môn). His main altar is located at Cơn temple, Quỳnh Phương, Quỳnh Lưu, Nghệ An province. After his death, he descended on earth to help and support people, so, they worshipped him. In the rituals of hầu đồng, he wears black dress and turban, sometimes is pink dress and red turban.

Ông Hoàng Mười – The tenth Prince

The Tenth Prince or Ông Hoàng Mười Nghệ An (The Tenth Prince in Nghệ An) was a refined talent saint. He was both scholar and warrior. There were a lot of legends about him in folk. Legend has it that, he cames from  Nghệ An and serviced all his life to country and people.

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In The Ten Princes of Four Palaces, The Tenth Prince is the most often descending on earth and worshipped
by folk for praying for fortune, the success of business or examinations. - Source: Google

In the pantheistic system and rituals of hầu đồng he wears the yellow. His feast is on Oct, 10th in lunar calendar. On this day, people everywhere come to pray for luck, examination, business and others.

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An actress from Viet Theater on the attendance of The Tenth Prince together with two attendants on the stage of
Tứ Phủ - Four Palaces Show by Việt Tú Director, which reconstitutes the rituals ff hầu đồng in the Worship of
The Mother Goddesses of Four Palaces Religion. - Source: Google

All above are just some of The Princes who usually descend on rituals of The worship of Mother Goddesses in Four Palaces Region. Other Princes do not descend on earth. They are just remembered and worshipped by people somewhere.

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