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Le Mat Snake Village

Le Mat, a quaint village just 7 kilometers northeast of Hanoi’s bustling city center, holds a captivating secret: 

A tradition of snake catching and the art of preparing snake specialties. 

This unique heritage is celebrated annually during the Le Mat village festival, drawing crowds from near and far.

The Legend of Le Mat: A Tale of Courage and Community

Legend has it that during the 11th century, a sea monster in the guise of a snake threatened the life of Princess Thanh Hoang, daughter of King Ly Than Tong. 

The village’s hero, a young fisherman named Hoang, bravely slew the beast, saving the princess. 

In gratitude, he asked only for land to establish farms for the villagers of Thang Long. Thus, Le Mat village and its prosperity were born.

From Tru Mat to Le Mat: A Village’s Evolution

Le Mat, formerly known as “Tru Mat,” underwent a name change, possibly due to Lord Trinh Chu’s taboo during the Le Dynasty. 

Over time, it evolved into the vibrant community known today.

The Rise of the Snake Village: Le Mat’s Unique Trade

Following Hoang’s example, the people of Le Mat not only farmed but also became skilled in catching and raising snakes. 

Today, the village boasts numerous snake farms and specialty restaurants and is renowned as the hub of snake trading in northern Vietnam.

The Communal Houses of Le Mat: A Testament to History

Le Mat once housed two communal houses: the Upper, dedicated to Trang Trinh Nguyen Binh Khiem, and the Lower, venerating the heroic Hoang family. 

Though the Upper house is no more, the Lower house stands as a reminder of the village’s past.

Celebrating Tradition: The Le Mat Village Festival

The yearly Le Mat village festival celebrated from the 20th to the 24th day of the lunar calendar, is a joyous gathering for the village’s descendants.

The main festival day, March 23, honors Thanh Hoang Le Mat. 

It features a unique snake dance, competitions showcasing various aspects of snake handling, and the opportunity to savor snake specialties.

Visit Le Mat: Embrace the Serpent’s Tale

For travelers seeking a glimpse into Hanoi’s unique heritage, a visit to Le Mat is a must.

Explore the village’s rich history, witness the art of snake catching, and immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of this snake-centric community.

Join Us at Le Mat: Experience the Charm of Snake Village

Don’t miss the chance to experience the enchanting world of Le Mat. 

Join us for the annual festival, sample our delectable snake dishes, and discover the timeless allure of this ancient village. See you there!

Le Mat Snake Village
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Le Mat Village Summary
Location7 km northeast of Hanoi city center, now in Long Bien district
SpecialtySnake catching and snake meat specialties
LegendAssociated with a hero named Hoang who saved Princess Thanh Hoang from a sea monster
EvolutionOriginally called “Tru Mat,” possibly changed due to a taboo, now known as Le Mat.
Snake TradeHome to hundreds of snake-raising households, dozens of snake specialty restaurants, and a center for snake trading in Northern Vietnam
Communal HousesOnce had two communal houses: Upper (now gone) and Lower, worshiping Trang Trinh Nguyen Binh Khiem and the heroic Hoang family.
FestivalAnnual festival from March 20 to 24 of the lunar calendar, with the primary day on March 23, featuring a snake dance and various snake-related competitions


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