Thousands block Hanoi's main street outside overcrowded pagoda to wish away bad luck

By Manh Cuong   February 24, 2018 | 11:12 am GMT+7

Locals believe that the ritual will help them avoid unfortunate events in the new lunar year and only monks at pagodas can help them do so.

Thousands of people filled a street in Hanois Dong Da District on Friday night as they attend a ceremony to pray for peace in a new lunar year, which began one week ago.

Thousands of people fill a street in Hanoi’s Dong Da District on Friday night as they attend a ceremony to pray for peace in a new lunar year, which began last week.

Traffic police puts up barriers in early afternoon on Friday ahead of the ceremony at 7 p.m. at Phuc Khanh Pagoda in order to maintain traffic order on Tay Son Street.

Traffic police puts up barriers in early afternoon on Friday ahead of the ceremony at 7 p.m. at Phuc Khanh Pagoda in order to maintain traffic order on Tay Son Street.

As many as 700 officers, including fire fighters, are gathered for this event, which is held occasionally one week after Tet until the mid of the first lunar month.

As many as 700 officers, including fire fighters, are gathered for this event, which is held one week after the lunar new year starts until the mid of the first lunar month.

Some people arrive at Phuc Khanh Pagoda since 2 p.m. to save themselves a seat as there is limited space at the pagoda. Many Vietnamese believe that their fate lies in the star designated for that year, and while some are considered lucky, some are not and can cause troubles. Thats why they have to visit pagodas to pray that the bad stars will leave them alone.

Some people arrive at Phuc Khanh Pagoda as early as 2 p.m. to save themselves a seat due to limited space at the pagoda. Many Vietnamese believe that their fate is decided by the stars designated for that year, and while some are considered lucky, some are not and can cause troubles. That’s why they have to visit pagodas to pray so the bad stars will leave them alone.

These people are one step late and have to seat or even stand on the street in front of the pagoda and beat the cold for the ritual.

Latecomers, unable to find a seat in the pagoda, have to stand and pray outside on the street amid Hanoi's winter cold.

Inside the pagoda where the ritual takes place.

Inside the pagoda where the ritual takes place.

Attenders take half of Tay Son Street on Friday night.

Attendants take up half of the space on Tay Son Street on Friday night.

Some people even stand on the other side of the street to pray as the other half of the street is already filled up.

Some people even stand against the traffic barrier to pray all other spots closer to the pagoda are already occupied.

Traffic on Tay Son Street turns into complete chaos when the ceremony finally ends at 8 p.m.

Traffic on Tay Son Street turns into complete chaos when the ceremony finally ends at 8 p.m.

 
 
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