|Respect for sage: Hundreds of Buddhist followers pray for good weather and peaceful life in a ceremony at Hue's Tu Dam Pagoda. — VNS Photo Phuoc Buu
THUA THIEN-HUE (VNS)— Activities to celebrate the 2,557th anniversary of Buddha's birth have been held around the country, displaying what officials call a grand harmonisation between religion and society.
Officials from the Viet Nam Central Fatherland Front Committee paid a visit to Most Venerable Thich Pho Tue, head of Buddhist Sangha of Viet Nam in Ha Noi, to acknowledge the sangha's contribution to religious and social solidarity.
Representatives of the committee in Hau Giang, Ninh Thuan and Da Nang also paid visits to pagodas and sangha councils.
Celebrations featured charitable activities for the disadvantaged. Four days were set aside by Hau Giang Buddhist Sangha Council to collect money and food from donors.
Da Nang's sangha council donated nine houses and hundreds of food packages to the disadvantaged and patients in hospitals around the city.
In Hue, home to more than 600 pagodas, the birthday celebrations were held in a bustling atmosphere.
Pagodas and houses around the city were decorated with statues of the baby Budda and lotus lanterns. Parades of flower-decorated floats toured the streets and reached the remote districts of Phong Dien and Phu Loc.
In the former capital, authorities are attempting to build a Buddhist centre to serve the whole country.
Late yesterday afternoon, a procession of hundreds of monks, nuns and followers went on a 5km walk from Dieu De Pagoda to Tu Dam Pagoda.
Dieu De was the national pagoda under the reign of the Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945) in Hue and Tu Dam is also a big centre for Vietnamese Buddhism. — VNS