Thousands of Buddhist followers celebrate Vu Lan Festival


The Vu Lan Festival opened on August 6 and saw thousands of Buddhist followers flock to the Kim Son Pagoda in Hoa Binh province to show gratitude for their parents and ancestors.

Held annually on the 15th day of the 7th lunar month, the Vu Lan Festival, also known as ‘All Souls’ Day’, is the 2nd largest traditional festival of Vietnam after Tet. Vietnamese people believe that on this day the souls of the dead return home and gather with family members. It’s therefore an occasion for family gatherings and a time to express love and gratitude to ancestors and parents.

Recent days have seen crowds of Buddhists flock to pagodas and worship places in the area to hear talks about parental love and pray for their parents. The Kim Son Pagoda in Hoa Binh province is well decorated specifically for the Vu Lan Festival

Thousands of Buddhist followers attend a Vu Lan prayer ceremony that takes place in the pagoda.

Many choose to wear roses on their shirts, with red roses being for those whose mothers are alive and white roses being for those whose mothers who have passed away.

A local wears a red rose, indicating that her mother is still alive.

Lotus lanterns are lit up during the course of the ceremony.

Buddhist followers drop the lotus lanterns from a bridge as a way of showing gratitude to their parents.