Mother Goddess worship, which was officially recognised by UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage of humanity in late 2016, is a traditional practice in Vietnam with a long history, having stood the test of social changes. The belief in Mother Goddess reflects people’s desire for health, wealth and fortune.
Speaking at the event, Venerable Thích Tâm Kiên briefed participants on cultural values of the belief. According to him, the Mother Goddess Worshipping belief is very important to Vietnamese people.
The Mother Goddesses are Thoai who is in charge of Water, Thuong Thien (Lieu Hanh) who is in charge of the Heaven, Dia in charge of Earth and Thuong Ngan in charge of Mountains and Forests. The “hau dong” ritual is the most important part in practising the worship, Kien added.
The practitioners are comprised of temple guardians, ritual priests, spirit mediums, mediums’ assistants and musicians who perform the songs for the spirits, disciples and lay adherents who share the same beliefs in the spiritual power, supernatural strength and protection of the Mother Goddess spirit pantheon. All of these practitioners form groups who worship together, take part in traditional festivals and perform spirit possession rituals at temples and palaces dedicated to Mother Goddesses.
Vietnamese Ambassador to Russia Nguyễn Thanh Sơnn said that the event was a good chance to introduce to Vietnamese people living in Russia and Russian friends Vietnam’s world-recognised cultural heritage.