Vietnam pulls out all the stops for grand Buddha birthday celebration

By Ngoc Thanh   May 11, 2019 | 08:12 pm GMT+7

Preparations continued at frenetic pace at the Tam Chuc Pagoda Complex for the nation’s grandest Vesak celebration ever.

Vietnam all dolled up and ready for Buddhas birthday (unedited)

The Vesak Ceremony 2019 organized by the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha at the Tam Chuc Pagoda in Ha Nam Province, 65km south of Hanoi, will begin 8 a.m. Sunday. The two-day grand event is the third time that Vietnam is the international Vesak celebration, which commemorates the birth and the attainment of Nirvana by Gautama Buddha.

The theme chosen for this year’s event is: "Buddhist approach to global leadership and shared responsibility for a sustainable society."

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"So far, the preparations for the Buddha's birthday celebration have been completed and we are ready for the opening ceremony this weekend," said Venerable Thich Minh Quang, representative of Tam Chuc Pagoda and member of the National Vesak 2019 Committee.

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Tens of thousands of flags and banners line the road that leads to the Tam Chuc Pagoda.

As of May 6, 1,650 official delegates with 570 international delegations from 112 countries and territories around the world had registered to attend the event. They include many heads of state, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ministers and more than 20 ambassadors and representatives of international organizations in Vietnam. The ceremony will also welcome monks, leaders of different Buddhist groups, researchers and intellectuals.

Indian Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu will deliver the keynote address for the ceremony.

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Figures of cranes holding up golden lotuses have been installed along the aisle at the International Convention Center.

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Workers tidy up chairs on the 3rd floor of the International Conference Center, with white lotuses on every table.

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The conference room is ready to receive the delegates. The ceremony will include various forums to discuss responsible leadership for a sustainable society, family harmony and education; industrial revolution 4.0 and responsible consumption from a Buddhist perspective.

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A performance rehearsal of the dragon dance for the opening ceremony.

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The front yard of the Tam Chuc Pagoda, where a mass prayer will be held.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan and Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh, and leaders of ministries and other state agencies are expected to attend the event.

Many leaders of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha and Buddhist groups from Vietnam's 63 cities and provinces along with over 20,000 local and international Buddhist followers will also be present.

 
 
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