The Hanoitimes - The Vietnam Buddhism Sangha of the Ninh Binh province held a ceremony to open the Bai Dinh Pagoda Festival in Gia Vien district, the northern province of Ninh Binh, on February 2 (the sixth day of the first lunar month).
Deputy Prime Minister (PM) Truong Hoa Binh and Secretary of the provincial Party’s Committee Nguyen Thi Thanh attended the opening ceremony of Bai Dinh Pagoda Festival in Gia Vien district, the northern province of Ninh Binh, on February 2 (the sixth day of the first lunar month).
Deputy PM Truong Hoa Binh beats the drum to open the Bai Dinh Pagoda Festival 2017.
The event saw the participation of dignitaries from the Vietnam Buddhism Sangha and its provincial chapter, and thousands of pilgrims.
The original 1,000 year-old Bai Dinh Pagoda (Bai Dinh Co Tu) is composed of temples worshipping Buddha, the Mountain God, and the Mother Goddess of the Forest. The pagoda lies about 800 metres from the Tam The Temple of the new Bai Dinh Pagoda area.
Speaking at the ceremony, Venerable Thich Thanh Nhieu, head of the Bai Dinh Pagoda, highlighted the cultural and historical value of the pagoda, adding that the original pagoda, built thousands of years ago, has become one of the standout landscapes of the old capital.
Addressing the event, Secretary of the provincial Party’s Committee Nguyen Thi Thanh said Ninh Binh is home to numerous relic sites marking the development of Buddhism, including the Bai Dinh pagoda.
She noted that the pagoda is part of the Trang An Landscape Complex which was recognised as a world Cultural and Natural Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
She also hoped that the the Bai Dinh pagoda will continue welcoming more tourists and local residents to the site, while contributing to the local socio-economic development, poverty reduction, security maintenance for the prosperity and peace of the nation.
The festival runs through the end of the third lunar month.
At the Bai Dinh Pagoda Festival 2017.
The recent additions are considered the largest Buddhist temples complex in Vietnam and at present hold several national record-setting relics, including the largest bronze Buddha statue (150 tonnes), the largest bronze bell (30 tonnes), and the largest number of Arhat statues (500).
At the event, Deputy PM Truong Hoa Binh and Secretary of the provincial Party’s Committee Nguyen Thi Thanh beat the drum to open the festival.
Deputy PM Truong Hoa Binh and delegates release to pray for happiness and national development.
Participants released doves and offered incense to pray for happiness and national development. The event also included folk games and artistic programmes.
Translated by Thu Minh