Yen Tu Buddhist Spring Festival 2014 opens

Yen Tu Buddhist Spring Festival 2014 opened at the Yen Tu historical site in Uong Bi City, Quang Ninh Province City on February 9.

Thousands of pilgrims flocked to the pagoda for the event to pray for a lucky and peaceful new year.

Over 250,000 people cam to Yen Tu, according to the festival’s organization board.  The Number is expected to increase to 4 million attendees.

The festival features traditional cultural activities and folk games such as musical performances,  kylin and dragon performance, and opening of the statue of King Tran Nhan Tong.  The statue is recognized as the largest monolithic bronze statue in Vietnam by the Vietnam Book of Records.

The statue celebrates the 705th anniversary of the King-Monk Tran Nhan Tong’s enlightenment.  It weighs more than 138 tons and is 12.6 meters high.  It is the first statue on Yen Tu Mountain rising 1,000 meters above sea level.

Tran Nhan Tong (1258-1308) was the third king of the Tran Dynasty to practice Buddhism. He founded the Truc Lam School of Zen 700 years ago. After defeating Mongol invaders, the king abdicated his throne at the age of 35 and spent the rest of his life on Yen Tu Mountain. During that time, the King-Monk worked to unify different sects of Vietnamese Buddhism into Vietnamese Zen Buddhism.

Yen Tu Festival is one of the biggest festivals in the northern region marked with colorful ceremonies, worship and prayers.  It kicked off from the Trinh Pagoda in Uong Bi Town, Quang Ninh Province on February 18.

By Mai An – Translated by Kim Khanh

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