Saigon lights up for Buddhist festival

By Quynh Tran   May 8, 2017 | 09:21 am GMT+7

Thousands of lanterns have been raised along a major waterway as temples in Ho Chi Minh City get ready for Vesak.

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Many pagodas in Ho Chi Minh City are prepared for Vesak, the most important festival among Buddhist followers on the 15th day of the fourth lunar month, or May 10 this year. The festival celebrates the Buddha's birth and enlightenment.

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Along the Nhieu Loc-Thi Nghe Canal, pagodas are finishing their decorations. Quan Am Tu Vien Pagoda in Phu Nhuan District has placed seven lotus-shaped lanterns in the middle of the canal.

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The white lotus is a symbol of purity and enlightenment in Buddhism.

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Phap Hoa Pagoda in District 3 has raised 10,000 lanterns alongside the canal.

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These lanterns are from Hoi An Town, which is famously known for its traditional lanterns, Phap Hoa’s abbot Thich Quang Minh told VnExpress.

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Seven pink lotus-shaped lanterns stand in one line in front of Phap Hoa Pagoda. Legend has it that when the Buddha was born, he walked seven steps forward and at each step, a lotus flower blossomed under his feet.

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Phap Hoa Pagoda will keep the lanterns glowing until next Monday. On Sunday, monks and nuns from the pagoda will float small lanterns and flowers down the canal.