Thousands fill temple for Hanoi's largest 'life release' ceremony

By Ngoc Thanh   February 26, 2018 | 08:44 am GMT+7

More than 5 tons of fish were released into the Red River, carrying blessings and prayers of the people.

On Sunday morning, about 10,000 people flocked to Bat Trang Temple in Hanoi to listen to a sermon on the meaning of the life release ceremony, a Buddhist practice of saving the lives of beings destined for slaughter. Following the sermon, the crowd moved toward the nearby section of the Red River to participate in the ceremony.

On Sunday morning, about 10,000 people from all over Vietnam flocked to Bat Trang Temple in Hanoi to listen to a sermon on the meaning of the life release ceremony, a Buddhist practice of saving the lives of beings destined for slaughter. Following the sermon, the crowd moved down to a nearby section of the Red River to participate in the ceremony.

More than 5 tons of live fish in oxygen-filled sacks had already been transported by truck to the site for the ceremony. According to Buddhism, life release will give people health, serenity and help them overcome disasters. It promotes compassion for all beings, helps protect the environment and the ecological balance, said Nguyen Hai Quan, one of the events organizers.

More than 5 tons of live fish in oxygen-filled sacks had already been delivered to the site for the ceremony. "According to Buddhism, life release will give people health, serenity and help them overcome disasters. It promotes compassion for all beings, helping to protect the environment and the ecological balance," said Nguyen Hai Quan, one of the event's organizers.

This is the fourth year this event, which is the largest life release ceremony in Hanoi, has been held.

This is the fourth year this event, which is the largest life release ceremony in Hanoi, has been held. For this year, the organizers invited Thich Chan Quang, head of Phat Quang Pagoda in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau, to come to Hanoi and lead the ceremony.

Baskets of fish are quickly passed through the crowd onto a boat waiting by the river bank.

Baskets of fish are quickly passed through the crowd onto a boat waiting by the river bank.

The line of people participating in the life release extends all the way from the temple to the river.

The line of people participating in the life release extends all the way from the temple to the river.

The released fish came from a supplier recommended by the Directorate of Fisheries and include climbing perch, mud carp, common carp and catfish.

The released fish came from a supplier recommended by the Directorate of Fisheries and include climbing perch, mud carp, common carp and catfish.

Upon being released, the fish received blessings for a safe journey to freedom by the people and the monks, headed by the elder monk Thich Chan Quang.

Upon being released, the fish received blessings for a safe journey to freedom from the people and the monks, led by Thich Chan Quang.

A group of catfish thrash around upon reaching the water.

Catfish thrash around as they are released into the water.

In addition to locals, many visitors and Buddhists from Ho Chi Minh City and many southern provinces also participated in the event.

In addition to locals, many visitors and Buddhists from Ho Chi Minh City and other southern provinces also participated in the event.

 
 
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