Students pray for luck at Hanoi temple before exam of their lives

By Ngoc Thanh   June 19, 2017 | 02:30 am PT
With only three days left before the university entrance exams, revising is not the priority for thousands of students.

Van Mieu Quoc Tu Giam, or the Temple of Literature, is a well-known tourist destination in Hanoi, but in the days running up to important exams during summer, expect to find it mobbed with thousands of students and their parents all praying for a dose of luck. In this photo, students wait in line to buy tickets for the temple.


Students burn incense sticks. The temple was the first university in Vietnam and dates back to 1070, so locals look at it as a sanctuary of knowledge.


Students and their parents pray at the altar of Confucius inside the temple. In Vietnamese society, getting into university is the cornerstone for a stable future.


Pham Hong Viet prays for good luck. He will join around 860,000 other students across the country who will be taking the exams from June 22 to 24.


A woman reads out her child’s name, registration number and other information as she prays.


People prepare their prayers on paper or their smartphones.


Some students sneak into a prohibited area to rub stone turtles' heads. These turtle statues carry the names of doctorate students from 1442 to 1779 on them, and many believe this practice brings them good luck.

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