|Many happy returns: A vegetarian food fair held at Quan Su Pagoda in Ha Noi is one of many activities taking place to mark the anniversary of Buddha's birth. — VNS Photo
HCM CITY (VNS)— Pagodas in HCM City this week have lit seven lotus-shaped lanterns to celebrate the anniversary of Buddha's birth.
The lanterns, which have 24 petals arranged in three layers, will be kept lighting on the Nhieu Loc canal until Satuday.
The 2,557 birthday of Buddha falls on the 15th day of the fourth lunar month.
City pagodas will also mark the 50th death anniversary of the Venerable Thich Quang Duc, who died of self-immolation in June in 1963 to protest the then American-supported Saigon government's repression of local Buddhists, the HCM City's Buddhist Sangha said.
The event will be highlighted by an exhibition featuring Buddhism culture at the Pho Quang Pagoda in Tan Binh District. The exhibition will close tomorrow.
Talks about the life of Buddha have also been organised at pagodas where many followers are taking part in incense offerings.
In addition, 32 flower-decorated floats joined in a parade on the city's main downtown streets last night.
Also last night, five boats decorated with flowers by pagodas and Buddhist followers sailed in a parade on the Sai Gon River.
Last week, the Viet Nam Book Record Centre announced eight Buddhist records, according to Vietnam Plus online newspaper.
It said the HCM City-based Viet Nam Buddhist Institute has trained the largest number of monks and nuns.
Other records include the biggest Buddha statue made from sapphire at Truc Lam- Tay Thien Zen Monastery in northern Vinh Phuc Province; the biggest sapphire statue of Buddha on nirvana at Hoi An Pagoda in southern Binh Duong Province; and the most number of films on Buddhism made at Hoang Phap Pagoda in HCM City.
The record centre said that AVG was the TV channel that had aired the greatest number of programmes on Vietnamese Buddhism. It currently has 20 programmes on the theme, and two hours are dedicated to them every day.
Venerable Thich Nhat Tu has edited and compiled the most books on Buddhism, according to the centre. Born in 1969 in HCM City, he has been the head of Giac Ngo Pagoda in the city since 1992.
Nguyen Huong Duong has read the most Buddhist audio books, the centre said. Duong, the manager of Audio Books for the Blind Charity Fund, has read 200 Buddhist-themed books.
The biggest collection of Buddhist stamps belongs to Nguyen Dai Hung Loc in HCM City, according to the centre. — VNS