Northern Vietnamese people love going to the pagoda in the first three months after Chinese New Year. There are so many pagoda festivals in different areas and the more famous pagodas attract the most people. The main reason people go is to pray for good health and success in business.
Here, there and everywhere people put incense, the smell, the smoke and the non-stop praying give the impression that these places are very holy.
My friends and I went to Ba Chua Kho temple, one of the most famous temples in the north which is always crowded on special days. Even though it was such a cold and rainy day, there were still so many people there. It took me 20 minutes to get into the temple centre to take a few pictures and have a good look at the pagoda and see people praying. There were so many people praying for their family, reading out a list of friends and relatives' names so loud that god could probably hear their voices. I hope so.
As I mentioned in my other post, these festivals give so many people a chance to work by carrying the offering trays, exchanging money and lighting incense. There are food businesses and souvenir shops, also.
If you have a chance to go to Bac Ninh province, don't forget to visit this pagoda. It's worth visiting for the day to say a special prayer for the one you care for.