Monastery hosts festival

Published: 30/03/2010 05:00



The annual Tay Thien Festival opened yesterday, the 15th of the second lunar month, at the Truc Lam Tay Thien Zen Monastery in the northern province of Vinh Phuc.

Spirited performance: A medium communes with the spirits as part of the celebrations in honour of Tay Thien Goddess at the Zen Monastery.

This year the festival was welcomed by a van (spiritual) singing festival featuring troupes from ten northern provinces that started last Friday.

Various other traditional festivities and rituals were held to honour the Goddess of Tay Thien, observed by 30 researchers.

Legend has it that the Goddess of Tay Thien is Lang Thi Tieu, Hung Chieu Vuong’s Queen (2450 BCE), who helped the king defeat invaders and teach the people how to grow rice and develop handicrafts. Apart from the Tay Thien Monastery, she is also thought to have worshipped at 71 other temples and pagodas in the local area.

Dang Van Bai, former director of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism’s Heritage Department, said that worshipping the Goddess of Tay Thien was part of the Holy Mother Religion of the Vietnamese, a long-standing religion that has a powerful influence over a large area. He also emphasised two intangible features of the religion including van singing and hau dong (mediumship).

During the three-day festival, various activities will be held such as displays by the San Diu ethnic group, folk singing contests, cooking rice and folk games.

Built on the ruins of an ancient pagoda, Truc Lam Tay Thien Zen Monastery sits majestically on the apex of the mountain, where from below the red tips of its tile-covered roof can be seen peaking through the pine trees. The Zen Monastery was officially inaugurated on November 27, 2005. It is very ornate, from the carved pictures on the doors to the embossed works on the walls, ceilings, and pillars, every detail was considered.

In addition to the monastery, there are support buildings constructed in the ancient architectural style including a library, museum, meditation house for monks, and temples in honour of the three founders of Truc Lam Zen.

Walking around the buildings, visitors can almost taste the tranquillity that is in the air of the mountainous landscape and holy temples.

VietNamNet/Viet Nam News

Provide by Vietnam Travel

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