Saturday, February 23, 2008

Pagoda Festivals

Chua Huong

Spring in Vietnam, especially in the north, is the time that almost every person visits pagodas wishing for a great lucky year ahead. This is a traditional side of Vietnam's culture.

Chua Huong- Perfume pagoda

Most people choose the Perfume Pagoda, Yen Tu Pagoda for destinations outside of Hanoi. Some people choose the most famous pagodas in Hanoi such as the Defence Pagoda, the One Pillar Pagoda and Phu Tay Ho for their city destinations. By going to these places at this time of the year, you can see thousands of people coming to do the same thing - preparing food, incense, drinks and very long wish lists of paper. I joined with my friends the last few years for fun and to take photos even though I don't follow any religion and I'm not a very ceremonial guy. I love to go these pagodas and temple because I like to see people doing their little prayers, talking to them and it's nice to see people maintaining their traditional culture.

Chua Huong- Perfume pagoda

I remembered last year seeing my friends spend almost twenty minutes just praying and reading their wish lists. I asked them why they had to spent so much time on these things and God cannot listen to theirs as well as thousands of people's wishes at the same time. They told me that's the way it is and just smiled. Maybe I should do the same thing instead of just lighting a few insence sticks:). It's also not easy to reach the altar as hundreds of people are crowded in with their full trays of fruit, food and a huge cooked chicken on their heads. There is a very special service where people can change big notes to small notes - 500 dong, 1000 dong, 2000 dong and 5000 dong. Most people put the money on their food trays and on the altars or give it to beggars in the hope that some of it comes back during the year.

Chua Huong- Perfume pagoda

I will join with my friends again to go to some pagodas on the weekends and hope that I can take some good photos and show you guys some new stories about these pagoda festivals soon.


Nguyen Duong said...

nice pictures. makes me want to go back to visit soon.

Tim Rice said...

Thanks for sharing some more of traditional Vietnamese culture. I like to learn more about how other peoples live.

FooDcrazEE said...

Tu - lost me blog and have to start all over.....btw, i tagged u with a meme

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing these interesting Vietnamese Tradition. I think it's important to preserve traditions so that it will not to be lost forever to modernization.

do believe in the power of prayers - however i think many tends to wish for the wrong thing LOLz

btw, where is Phu Quoc? i long heard that all excellent nước mắm comes from Phu Quoc

Van Cong Tu said...

Thanks for all comments.
Slurp! Phu Quoc is from the south that you can take a flight or ferry. It's such a beautiful place.

Invertir en Oro said...

I think it's important to preserve traditions so that it will not to be lost forever to modernization.

viagra online pharmacy said...

During the festival time most of the local places and hotels around the pagoda are fully booked. Some people travel to the base of the mountain by car, and then hike up the mountain on foot. Some people climb the mountain by ferry buses. Some hike up with carriers.