Thousands flock to Hanoi pagoda to ward off bad luck

By Giang Huy   February 13, 2019 | 02:10 pm GMT+7

People lined up in long queues outside a famous pagoda in Hanoi to attend a ritual believed to help avoid bad luck.

Thousands flock to Hanoi pagoda to ward off bad luck

On Tuesday night, long lines of devout Buddhists filled up the area around Phuc Khanh Pagoda in Dong Da District, waiting for their chance to pray and attend a ceremony, which will last until next week, to ward off bad luck and pray for peace and luck in the New Lunar Year.

Two hours before the ceremony kicked off, the pagoda was crowded with people who’d arrived early.

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A woman registers for the ritual at the pagoda. Many Vietnamese people believe that their fate lies in the star designated for that year. Of the nine stars, some are considered lucky, but some are not and cause troubles and affect their daily lives. They often visit pagodas in the early days of the Lunar New Year to pray that bad stars do not cause unfortunate events.

Thousands flock to Hanoi pagoda to ward off bad luck - 2

People carrying plastic stools jostle to find some space amidst the big crowd.

Thousands flock to Hanoi pagoda to ward off bad luck - 3

At around 6 p.m., devout Buddhists had taken up half of the space from Tay Son Street until the foot of Nga Tu So Flyover.

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Police officers were dispatched to the scene to ensure order during the ceremony. Lunar New Year, or Tet, is the biggest and most important holiday in Vietnam, and it often involves in crowded ceremonies and rituals.

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Latecomers had to sit outside, across the street, to pray. On their back is a "Parking" sign.

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After the ceremony, people scrambled to ask for "luck," in the form of fruits and tiny cakes that were distributed by the pagoda.

The pagoda will continue to hold similar prayer ceremonies next week, which even more people are expected to attend.

 
 
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