The Hanoitimes - According to Most Venerable Thich Gia Quang, Vice President of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha (VBS)’s Executive Council, on August 31, Vu Lan (Ullambana) – a major Buddhist festival, will be held at the Hanoi Opera House.
Most Venerable Thich Gia Quang said on August 15 that this year’s event also aims to pay tribute to Vietnamese Heroic Mothers, martyrs, war invalids and families who rendered services to the revolution on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of War Invalids and Martyrs Day.
Hanoi Opera House.
Venerable Thich Truc Thai Minh, deputy head of the VBS’s Information and Communications Committee, said the programme will honour 10 role models for their gratefulness to parents. The organising board will present 100 million VND (4,400 USD) to the role models and policy beneficiary families.
Vu Lan Festival is Buddhist festival that emerged long ago in Vietnam. Every year, the festival takes place on 15th day of the seventh lunar month, celebrates the seventh full moon in the year. In Vietnamese, it is so-called "Xa toi vong nhan" festival because this is the day for the death's souls.
In the thought of Vietnamese as well as people in many other countries sharing the same festival, on that day, the gate of the hell opens and thus, souls of the dead can come back to their home and gather with family. Vietnamese considers that it’s occasion for a family gathering as well as expressing love and gratitude to ancestor and parents. This is reason Vu Lan Festival is known as Mother’s Day in Vietnam.
In the morning of that day, a lavish tray with various delicious dishes and votive as well is set on the ancestral altar. The householder, as usual, will burn incense and invite ancestor to come back home and celebrate the festival with family. After that, all family’s members will gather and enjoy lunch together. Vegetarian food is most popular on that day.