Vietnamese expatriates in Laos on September 2 gathered at a Vu Lan festival at Phat Tich pagoda in Vientiane 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, and pray for national peace and prosperity.
In his opening speech, Venerable Thich Minh Quang, member of the Executive Council of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha (VBS) in Laos, who is also head of the coordinating board of Vietnam-Laos Buddhist cooperation, highlighted the significance of the event.
It is a spiritual and cultural activity imbued with humane meaning, tradition and cultural identity of Vietnam, contributing to promoting the spirit of solidarity and mutual support among overseas Vietnamese in the country, he said.
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 Kieu 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./.