Thursday, May 28 2020


New year pilgrims flock to pagodas during Tết

Update: February, 18/2018 - 18:00
Vietnamese modern calligraphy (written in Roman characters) has been more popular in recent years. — VNS Photos Đoàn Tùng
Viet Nam News

Tradition has it that during the first three days of the new year Vietnamese families go to pagodas and temples to pay respect to the spirits of the land. It’s a time for pilgrims to make solemn prayers for a year of good health, happiness and prosperity. People would often purchase small bags filled with salt to bring home, a symbolic gesture to wish for the households to be plentiful and harmonious in the year to come.

Another popular new year tradition is to ask calligraphers for letters, typically Chinese logogram characters but in recent years Vietnamese modern characters have seen a surge in popularity as well. "Good" characters such as Happiness, Kindness, Prosperity and Enlightenment are popular characters to ask for during the holiday. There are many calligraphers to be found near the Temple of Literature as well as the capital city’s numerous pagodas and temples. — VNS

A calligrapher write Chinese characters at the Temple of Literature.
A man seen making a prayer by a blossoming peach tree branch. — VNS Photos Đoàn Tùng
People present their offerings as prayers are made for a good year to come.
The Trấn Quốc Pagoda, the oldest pagoda in the capital said to be built in 6th century, is one of the more popular destinations for new year pilgrims.

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