The Hanoitimes - The Yen Tu Spring Festival 2017, the largest festivals in Vietnam’s northern region, officially kicked off at Trinh Pagoda at the Yen Tu historical site in Uong Bi city, the northern province of Quang Ninh on February 6, the 10th day of the first lunar month.
The opening ceremony of Yen Tu Spring Festival 2017 drew tens of thousands of visitors, Buddhist monks, nuns and followers across the country.
The festival opened with a procession by over 200 Buddhist practitioners, followed by an arts programme under the theme “Yen Tu Enters Spring.”
At the opening ceremony of Yen Tu Spring Festival
The opening ceremony also featured lion and dragon dances, drums and bell beats, a ceremony to pray for peace for the country and prosperity for the people, and an incense offering to the Buddha.
The festival will organise an array of activities, including traditional rituals and folk games.
At a ceremony to pray for peace for the country and prosperity for the people during the event.
As one of Vietnam’s major Buddhist centres, Yen Tu Mountain welcomes tens of thousands Buddhist pilgrims and visitors nationwide during the Lunar New Year (Tet) holidays.
According to the festival management board, the Yen Tu historical site welcomed 136,000 visitors during the first six days of the recent Tet festival, up 3 percent over the same period last year.
The Yen Tu Spring Festival opens on the tenth day of the first lunar month and lasts through the end of the third lunar month. This year’s festival is expected to welcome about 2 million visitors.
Yen Tu Mountain is located about 50 kilometres from Ha Long City. The area has a beautiful natural landscape and awe-inspiring scenery, surrounded by ancient pagodas and hermitages.
At the opening ceremony.
The pilgrimage route, which winds from the foot of the mountain to its pinnacle, is almost 30 kilometres. Dong Pagoda, which sits atop the mountain’s highest peak, is more than a kilometre above sea level.
In the 13th century, King-Monk Tran Nhan Tong (1258-1308), the third king of the Tran dynasty, abdicated the throne when he was 35 and spent the rest of his life on Yen Tu Mountain, practising and propagating Buddhism. He founded the first Vietnamese School of Buddhism called “Thien Tong” or Truc Lam Yen Tu Zen on the 1,068m-high Yen Tu Mountain. The 20,000ha site is considered the capital of Vietnamese Buddhism.
Apart from numerous temples, the Yen Tu historical site also preserves many old religious and cultural documents such as precious prayer-books and monks’ writings.
Yen Tu was recognised as a Special National Relic Site in September 2012.
Translated by Thu Minh