Lurking coronavirus keeps famed Hanoi temples deserted ahead of Tet

By Lan Huong   February 5, 2021 | 06:42 pm GMT+7
A cluster of famous temples and pagodas in Hanoi that has recorded 23 community transmissions during the country's latest Covid-19 wave were left deserted just days before Tet.
On February 4, contrary to the usual busy scene, the road leading to Tay Ho Temple (Phu Tay Ho) in Tay Ho District, a popular place of worship for devout Buddhists as also foreigners, was quiet. Some shops have been closed while parking lots were empty. Without pilgrimages, many calligraphy master came home early, there were only four people left. Calligraphy master Tran Duy Vinh  said that every year the temple is crowded during the year-end when people make ritual offerings to pray for a new prosperity year. For about a week now, the Tay Ho Temple has been very empty.Hanoi residents have been asked to stay home and limit travel during the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday as a Covid-19 precaution.

On Feb. 4, contrary to the usual busy scene, the road leading to Tay Ho Temple (Phu Tay Ho) in Tay Ho District, a popular place of worship for devout Buddhists and a tourist attraction, was quiet.
Some shops were closed while parking lots were empty. Without pilgrimages, many calligraphy masters came home early, with only four left out on the street.
Calligraphy master Tran Duy Vinh said every year-end the temple is crowded with people making ritual offerings to pray for prosperity.
Hanoi residents have been asked to stay home and limit travel during the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday (Tet) as a Covid-19 precaution.

No large crowds inside the temple as usual. Since the 16th century, Vietnamese have gathered at Buddhist pagodas, temples and other sanctuaries to worship a triumvirate of heroic female spirits revered for meting out justice and protecting the nation. All of them are called Mother Goddess.

No large crowds inside the temple as per usual.

Tran Quoc Pagoda, one of top tourist attraction in Hanoi, faces the same plight. Tran Quoc Pagoda, nearly 1,500 years old, stands on a small peninsula on the easternside of the West Lake and is the oldest pagoda in Hanoi.   Adding to its architectural beauty and historical significance is a bodhi tree said to have grown from the original tree under which the Buddha attained enlightenment in India.

Tran Quoc Pagoda, a top tourist attraction in Hanoi, faces the same plight.
Tran Quoc Pagoda, nearly 1,500 years old, in Tay Ho District stands on a small peninsula on the eastern side of West Lake and is the oldest pagoda in Hanoi.
Adding to its architectural beauty and historical significance is a bodhi tree said to have grown from the original tree under which the Buddha attained enlightenment in India.

Some devout residents in face masks burn incenses inside Tran Quoc Pagoda.

Some devout residents in face masks burn incense inside Tran Quoc Pagoda.

A woman wearning face masks prays inside Quan Su Pagoda in Hoan Kiem District.

A woman wearing a face mask prays inside Quan Su Pagoda in Hoan Kiem District.

Vendors outside the pagoda sit and watch their phones because there are no customers. They said that in previous years, the pagoda was crowded around Tet, but this year it was much quieter. Everyone was able to go back to their hometown soon for fears of the pandemic, so no one went to the temple, said a vendor.

Vendors outside Quan Su Pagoda are glued to their phones as there are no customers. They said in previous years, the pagoda was crowded around Tet.
"Many people have gone back to their hometown for fears of a wider outbreak, so few come to the temple," said a vendor.

Similar to Quan Su Pagoda, Quan Thanh temple at the end of Thanh Nien Street is also absent of pilgrims. Quan Thanh Temple was built in 1010, to worship Huyen Thien Tran Vu, one of the four gods guarding the four gates of the Thang Long Citadel.

Similar to Quan Su Pagoda, Ba Dinh District's Quan Thanh Temple at the end of Thanh Nien Street is desolate.
Quan Thanh Temple was built in 1010, to worship Huyen Thien Tran Vu, one of the four gods guarding the four gates of Thang Long Citadel.
Since Jan. 28, Vietnam has been experiencing a new outbreak of Covid-18 community transmissions with 394 cases confirmed in at least 12 cities and provinces so far.

 
 
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