Nhoi temple relic in area 5, Thanh Binh ward, Hai Duong city, is the place of worship of Duong An Nhan who deserves credit for helping a Ly king destroy rebels.
Nhoi temple relic is now quite spacious
Based on Ngoc Bao Co Truyen (Traditional Precious Record) copied in the 14th Bao Dai year (1939) and currently being kept at the relic, under the reign of King Ly Anh Tong, Than Loi and Nguu Khong turned traitors in the 1st Thien Cam Chi Bao year (1174).
Extremely worried, the king selected and conferred the marshal title on 18 generals, including Duong An Nhan, whose official name was Thien Giam, in the 3rd place, to lead the army to Thai Nguyen to destroy Nguu Khong and Than Loi.
After Nguu Khong had been killed and Than Loi had been forced to hang himself to death, the army victoriously returned to the court. The king held a congratulatory banquet, bestowed the Thai Uy (Grant Commandant) title on Duong An Nhan, and allowed him to go back to his place of defense.
Coming to Han Giang (now in Quang Trung ward, Hai Duong city) and finding a precious mound in Nhoi area through observing stars and geography, Duong An Nhan stayed for survey, granted the area 500 quan (an ancient monetary unit of Vietnam) to build a temple, and then went back to his place of defense.
At midnight (August 15), Duong An Nhan died a sudden death. The king was deeply mournful and ordered his courtiers to discuss the conferment of the Huu Thien Giam Than Linh Phu Quoc Dai Vuong title.
At present, there remain nine royal honor-conferring edicts dating from the 28th Canh Hung year (1767), the 44th Canh Hung year (1783), the 4th Quang Trung year (1791), the 2nd Minh Menh year (1821), the 4th Thieu Tri year (1844), the 33rd Tu Duc year (1880), the 2nd Dong Khanh year (1887), and the 9th Khai Dinh year (1924) at the relic.
Based on materials currently being kept at the relic, especially a system of royal honor-conferring edicts for tutelary god Duong An Nhan, including the oldest one in the 28th Canh Hung year (1767), Nhoi temple was built before that year.
Nhoi temple gained the provincial ranking in 2007. It now has ding (丁) architecture with a five-compartment front house and a two-compartment back house.
The front house has six trusses created in the same style with the central one made of wood and the front and side ones made of reinforced concrete.
The exterior focuses on the decoration of a relief of two dragons flanking the sun, two dragons holding the edges of the roof top in their mouths while turning to the center, and the roof covered with fish-scale tiles.
Notably, in front of the temple are two well-proportioned and majestic lantern pillars with nghe (a fictional creature with a lion-like head, a long tail, and a dog-like body) embossed on the pillar tops.
Placed in the back house is a red-lacquered and gold-trimmed wooden throne and votive tablet of tutelary god Duong An Nhan dating from the Nguyen dynasty.
Every year, the worship of tutelary god Duong An Nhan takes place very solemnly on the 16th day of the 3rd lunar month – his birth anniversary – and the 15th day of the 8th lunar month – his death anniversary. In which, the festival celebrating his birth anniversary is the biggest one of the year.
Apart from traditional rituals, there are god palanquin procession and games like tug of war, rope climbing, earthenware pot striking, etc. showing people's sportsmanship at the festival.
DANG THU THOM