|Open to all: Many young Buddhists came to Quán Sứ Pagoda yesterday. — VNS Photo Thái Hà |Viet Nam News
Hà Nội’s Quán Sứ Pagoda on Friday night was crowded with Buddhists gathering to prepare for the Vu Lan Festival (or Trung Nguyên Festival), which is a Buddhist festival that emerged long ago in Việt Nam.
Attendees pray for their parents whether they are living or dead.
Every year, the festival takes place on the 15th day of the seventh lunar month, celebrating the seventh full moon of the year. In Vietnamese it is called the "Xá tội vong nhân" festival (the day for the souls of the dead). This year, it will take place on September 5.
It is the belief of Vietnamese, as well as people around the world who share the same customs, that on that day the gates of hell open and the souls of the dead can come back to their home and gather with family. Vietnamese consider it an occasion for families to spend time together, as well as expressing love and gratitude to ancestors and parents. This is the reason Vu Lan Festival is known as Mother’s Day in Việt Nam. — VNS
|Spiritual time: A girl offers incense to the Buddha, hoping to wash away her sins, and pray for her deceased relatives and living descendants. — VNS Photo Thái Hà |
|Sacred ritual: During the Vu Lan Festival, the monk often tells Buddhists about the responsibility of children to their parents as well as instructing them to pray for their ancestors. — VNS Photo Thái Hà|
|Gathering together: Many Buddhists attended prayers for their parents at Quán Sứ Pagoda in Hà Nội yesterday. — VNA/VNS Photo Thái Hà|
|Learning experience: A foreign family came to Quán Sứ Pagoda yesterday to understand more about Vietnamese culture and feel the special atmosphere of the Vu Lan festival. — VNS Photo Thái Hà|