Wednesday, 22/05/2024 08:27

Art programme, charity activities to be held to mark Vu Lan festival

A press conference is held on May 21 to announce activities to mark Vu Lan festival. Photo

HÀ NỘI – An art programme will be held at the Hà Nội Opera House in August together with social welfare activities in the northern province of Điện Biên in celebration of the Vu Lan festival – a Buddhist tradition and a cultural activity aimed at honouring and showing gratitude to parents and ancestors.

The event organisers - the communication board of the Việt Nam Buddhist Sangha (VBS) and Sen Công Joint Stock Company – announced the plan at a press conference held in Hà Nội on May 21.

Vice Chairman of the Việt Nam Buddhist Sangha (VBS) Executive Council Most Venerable Thich Gia Quang, who is also head of the communication board, said that the art programme will be the 8th of its kind held over the last ten years.

In July, a pilgrimage "following the footsteps of Điện Biên soldiers" will be held, taking participants to visit the graves of soldiers who joined the Điện Biên Phủ battlefield 70 years ago and offer incense to commemorate the heroic martyrs.

Within the framework of the programme, financial support will be given to Vietnamese Heroic Mothers, and elderly people who live alone or in disadvantaged situations.

The programme will fund about VNĐ450 million to build a canteen with a capacity of 160 students at Nam Tý Primary School in Hua Thanh Commune in Điện Biên District, Điện Biên Province.

Vu Lan festival is celebrated annually on the 15th day of the seventh month in the lunar calendar.

The origin of the festival is explained by the legend of Maudgalyayana (known as Mục Kiền Liên in Việt Nam), a chief disciple of Sakyamuni Buddha, who was unable to alleviate the suffering of his mother in the realm of hungry ghosts.

He was told that the only way to deliver his mother from the pains of suffering is to rely upon the strength of monastics of all directions in their cultivation of meritorious virtues.

The merits could liberate the deceased from the three suffering realms and allow them to enjoy a life of abundance, good fortune, and longevity. Therefore, by observing the practice, all Buddhists can deliver their parents from the miseries of the three suffering realms.

From this, many Buddhist countries have developed their custom of offering food, clothing, and other items to hungry spirits in the seventh lunar month.

This festival has been widely celebrated in Việt Nam to express respect, love, and honour towards parents. - VNS

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