Addressing the ceremony, Most Venerable Thích Thọ Lạc, a member of the Secretariat of the Executive Council and head of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha (VBS)’s cultural department, read a message from the VBS Supreme Patriarch.
The VBS was honoured to host the 16th United Nations Day of Vesak in the northern province of Ha Nam from May 12-14, he said, noting that the event was a great success.
He called on Buddhist followers and the Vietnamese community in Laos to unite, observe local law, participate in activities organised by Bang Long Pagoda, and continue to work as a bridge for the Vietnam-Laos special relationship.
Following several rituals, including bathing the Buddha statue, the ceremony concluded with the release of birds and balloons to pray for global peace and happiness.
The 16th UN Day of Vesak 2019 brought together 1,650 international delegates from 112 countries and territories worldwide.
Vesak, or the Day of the Full Moon in the month of May, is the year’s most sacred day to the millions of Buddhists around the world. It was on the Day of Vesak two and a half millennia ago that the Buddha was born. It was also on the Day of Vesak that the Buddha attained enlightenment, and it was on the Day of Vesak that the Buddha passed away.
The UN’s commemoration of Vesak has been held in Vietnam three times so far. Previously, it had taken place in Hanoi in 2008 and in the northern province of Ninh Binh in 2014.