04/09/2017 05:20 GMT+7 Email Print Like 0

Vietnamese expatriates in Laos observe Vu Lan festival

Vientiane, Sept. 3 (VNA) – Overseas Vietnamese in Laos held a Vu Lan festival in the central province of Savannakhet on September 2 to express their deep gratitude towards parents. 

Hundreds of Vietnamese Buddhist followers and monks were present at the event, which also aims to commemorate soldiers who sacrificed their lives to protect the country’s seas and islands, and pray for national peace and prosperity. 

The Vu Lan festival falls on the fifteenth day of the seventh month in the lunar calendar. On this month’s full moon, wandering souls are believed to return to their former homes. 

The festival is based on the legend that once when mediating, a Buddha’s disciple named Muc Kien Lien saw his mother suffering hell’s tortures. 

Following Buddha’s advice, on the seventh full moon of the year, Lien gathered monks and devotees to pray for his mother. 

Therefore, the festival is also an occasion for children to express their gratitude towards their parents (especially mothers) and help ancestors’ souls find their way back to the earth. 

On the occasion, overseas Vietnamese people in Savannakhet often flock to Bao Quang pagoda, one of the three biggest pagodas of Vietnamese in the Lao province, to observe the Vu Lan festival. 

Venerable Thich Tanh Nhiep explained the meaning of the festival in Buddhism and called on the Vietnamese community in Laos to strengthen solidarity to nurture the Vietnam-Laos close relations. 

As planned, Vietnamese Buddhists and monks will gather at Trang Nghiem pagoda in the southern province of Champasak on September 3 to observe the festival and pray for national peace and prosperity.