Festival of Perfume Pagoda, Hanoi


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The festival of perfume pagoda takes place in Huong Son commune, My Duc district, Hanoi city. On 6th of January, the opening ceremony is held. The festival lasts to the last weeks of March. On the occasion of festival, millions of Buddhists and tourists near and far come to Huong Pagoda. A journey back to a land of Buddhism – where the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara  practiced convent. They offer a prayer, or keep the peace of mind with nature in a mountainous area imprinted Buddha .

Main festival is usually from full moon of January to 18th of February (lunar calendar). These days originally is the forest opening ceremony. But now, rituals of opening forest contains new meaning “opening pagoda’s gate”.

Huong Son commune directly manages local tourist group. Before entering the temple, visitors must stay in the village near Duc bank and Yen bank.  So taking part in Perfume festival, visitors have opportunity to soak up the atmosphere of  traditional village festivals.

Inside pagoda, incense offering ceremony is held including incense, flowers, light, candles, fruits and vegetarian. Two nuns dance beautifully with performance hard to find elsewhere. From opening day until the end of festival, only occasionally, monks come to chant about half an hour,  but incense never stops ending. The feast part is in favor of “meditation”. But outside the temple worships mountain gods carrying the style of Taoism.

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The festival has the warmth of youth, the respect of elders, and the happiness of pilgrims. The festival of Perfume Pagoda is a place gathering traditional cultural activities such as: boat sailing, mountain climbing, chèo singing, etc.

On festival days, the Perfume pagoda has crowd of boats going back and forth. The interesting of the festival is that visitors like sitting on boat and enjoy landscape. It is reason why talking to the Perfume pagoda, people usually think of boats- one of boat cultures of ancient Vietnamese people. Up to now, the festival of boat sailing at perfume pagoda always creates intense inspiration to visitors.

As it can be seen, taking part in Perfume pagoda not just stops a place of Buddha – but at first. It is the magical interaction between people and extensive nature. That’s the shimmering beauty of river, immense sky, the deepness of mountains, mysterious caves, etc.

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