Vu Lan, known as Ghost Festival or Wandering Souls Day, is an important day in spiritual life of Vietnamese people. So it is annually held on 15th July of the lunar calendar. After the Lunar New Year (Tet Holiday), this is the second largest annual traditional festival in Vietnam. Because people celebrate this day vĩ đại pay special tribute vĩ đại parents and ancestors. Therefore Travel Sense Asia would lượt thích vĩ đại share with you some information about Vu Lan Festival in Vietnam.
1. Legend of the festival
The origin of Vu Lan Festival came from the legend of Muc Kien Lien, one of the Buddha’s ten principal disciples. According vĩ đại that the mother of Muc Kien Lien has commited many crimes in her previous life. So after died she had been suffered from hell’s tortures and became a starving ghost.
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To save her Muc Kien Lien asked the Buddha for his help. Following Buddha’s advice, he collected a group of monks and did a pray for his mother on the 7th full moon day of the year. Thanks vĩ đại the piety of Muc Lien Lien and pray of the monks his mother was released and no longer suffered from hell’s tortures.
Since then, Vu Lan Festival has been held on the 15th day of the 7th lunar month. So this is an occasion for people vĩ đại show their piety and respect vĩ đại their parents, ancestors. So that the gates of hell will be opened and all the dead souls can come back vĩ đại the earth and gather vĩ đại their family.
2. Activities in Vu Lan Festival
Vu Lan Festival can be seen throughout the country with many different activities. Not only Buddha’s followers but all Vietnamese people will celebrate Vu Lan Festival.
On this occasion people will go vĩ đại pagodas, make offerings to Buddha and the monks, pray and pay tribute vĩ đại parents. They also listen vĩ đại the lecture about the responsibility of children vĩ đại parents from monks as well. Each Buddhist has a flower (usually rose) in front of their chest: red flower if their parents are living and white flower if their parents have passed away.
Moreover people will prepare a tray with various delicious dishes and votive as well vĩ đại put on ancestral altar at trang chủ. The householder, as usual, will burn incense and invite ancestors as well as homeless souls vĩ đại come and celebrate the festival with family. After that, all family’s members will gather and enjoy the meal together.
Vegetarian food is most popular on this occasion. However in the modern life it is not an obligation vĩ đại have a meal together at trang chủ. Family can go vĩ đại the restaurant and try vegetarian food. In Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City it is not so sánh hard vĩ đại find a vegetarian restaurants. Here are some recommendations for you:
Co Dam Restaurant – 68 Tran Hung Dao St.
Vegito – 45 Ngo Thi Nham St.
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Uu Dam Chay – 55 Nguyen Du St.
Sadhu – 87 Ly Thuong Kiet St.
Ho Chi Minh City
Man Tu Vega – 201 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai St. District 1
Chay Sen Restaurant – 93-95 Pho Duc Chinh St. District 1
Metta Vegetarian – 25C Tu Xuong, District 3
Budhha – 31 Dang Tat, District 1
Although the official Vu Lan holiday is July 15th, people will celebrate for the whole month. It is called Vu Lan season. In the season, people can visit pagodas vĩ đại pray every day. Many eat vegetarians for the whole of month.
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They also vì thế some volunteer works or give the poor rice, noodles, soy sauce… as well. Or release birds, fishes, help them come back vĩ đại the natural environment. All of those things are vĩ đại send besh wishes vĩ đại their parents.
In almost provinces Vietnamese people will celebrate the festival in the same way. However in Hoi An there is a special activity. That is vĩ đại light small lanterns for our loved ones and mix them afloat on the Hoai River. It is supposed that light will lead the way for wandering souls.
Vu Lan Festival is not only celebrated in Vietnam but also in the countries having Buddhism such as Đài Loan Trung Quốc, nhật bản, Malaysia etc. It reminds people vĩ đại remember the birth and parenting of the parents. Vu Lan Festival is an ideal and special sự kiện for foreign visitors when travelling vĩ đại Vietnam vĩ đại discover Vietnam’s culture, experience and understand more about Vietnamese values.