|The Thiên Hậu Thánh Mẫu Pagoda festival drew thousands of people. The festival is considered the largest in the southeast region of Việt Nam. — Photo kenh14.vn|
BÌNH DƯƠNG – The Thiên Mậu Thánh Mẫu Pagoda festival organising committee auctioned a collection of nine lanterns in Thủ Dầu Một City, raising VNĐ3.7 billion (US$163,000) last weekend.
The funds will be donated to Lê Văn Tám Elementary School in Thủ Dầu Một City and to poor Chinese residents; a sum will also be donated to the Fatherland Front to help the poor and the disabled in the province.
The auction is an annual event held during the pagoda festival, lasting from the 10th to the 15th day of the first lunar month.
The charity event drew 50 individuals, businesses, and organisations both from and outside the province.
The nine lanterns carry names that are intended to bring prosperity and peace, such as Thánh mẫu ban phước (Blessing of the Goddess), Ngũ phúc lâm môn (Five Luck), Vạn sự như ý (All wishes realised).
The starting bid for each lantern was VNĐ 16.8 million ($740). After hours of auctioning, highest bid of VNĐ 800 million ($35,250) went to a lantern named Thuận buồm xuôi gió (Smooth sailing). – VNS