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Da Nang hosts spiritual fest

Update: March, 12/2012 - 10:01
Nirvana: Monks and nuns pray at Quan The Am Pagoda in Da Nang's Son Tra District (top). Thousands gathered for the Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva festival.— VNS Photos Hoai Nam

DA NANG — Around 10,000 gathered for the Quan The Am (Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva) Festival yesterday in Son Tra District, southeast of the central city of Da Nang.

The annual festival held at Quan The Am Pagoda is one of the leading cultural events in the city each year.

"The festival is a great cultural, historical and tourism event,"said the head of the festival organising committee, Le Hoang Duc. "It has become a major tourism attraction, with the main festival drawing thousands of foreign and domestic visitors. This year, it also kicks off tourist season and the 5th Da Nang International Fireworks Competition which takes place on April 29-30."

The festival aims to pray for a year of peace, prosperity and happiness for the nation.

"We gather to pray and wish for a better life for everyone in the country and around the world," said the pagoda's monk superior, Thich Thien Nguyen. "The traditional festival has become a main event on the religious calendar, when all people look forward to a better life in peace."

During the main festival, which falls on the 19th of the second lunar month, a girl acts as an image of the Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva and is followed by a palanquin procession from Quan The Am Pagoda at the foot of Kim Son Mountain to a small boat on the Cau Bien River, a branch of the Co Co River, where there are prayers for fishermen.

A folk music performance of bai choi (a card game in which players sit in a hut and play and sing at the same time) also takes place.

The three-day festival closed yesterday with boat-racing on the Co Co River. — VNS

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