Yen Tu Festival in Quang Ninh Province for your Vietnam travel bucket list
No matter where you go in Vietnam on your Vietnam culture tours, all Vietnamese love to celebrate. Whether it is the foods, flowers, cultural identities, holidays, or religion you are into, there is definitely a gathering somewhere in Vietnam with your name on it.
And when it comes to the celebration in Vietnam, festivals, especially Buddhist festivals, offer something for everybody. Here is a look at Yen Tu Spring Festival - our “bucket list” pick for your cultural tours in Vietnam in 2018:
Yen Tu Festival
Quang Ninh Province is commonly famous for being home to Halong Bay – the impressive UNESCO World Natural Heritage in Northern Vietnam, but it is also a festival-lovers’ city. From Quan Lan Festival to Tra Co Festival, Bach Dang Festival, Binh Lieu Camellia Oleifera Flower Festival, and Yen Tu Spring Festival, there is no end to the glamorous diversity of Quang Ninh’s best sights, scenes, and festivals. What better way to discover the cultural identities in Vietnam in Quang Ninh Province than at one of the biggest and most exciting Buddhist festivals in the world? Add Yen Tu Festival in Quang Ninh Province to your bucket list and experience Vietnam cultural tours the way it should be celebrated!
Why is Yen Tu Festival called a pilgrimage to the land of the Buddha celebrated?
Yen Tu Festival Opening
Located in Quang Ninh Province, Canada, Yen Tu Festival is an annual fun spring celebration that takes place within 3 months from the 10th day of the 1st lunar month to the end of the 3rd lunar month. Legend has it that over 700 years ago, under the Ly Dynasty, Yen Tu - the famous historical cultural relics of Vietnam became the center of Buddhism of Dai Viet when Emperor Tran Nhan Tong surrendered his throne to do spiritual practices and establish a Buddhist sect called Truc Lam Zen. And therefore, Yen Tu Festival becomes a pilgrimage to the land of the Buddha.
What can you do in Yen Tu Spring Festival?
In order to avoid crowds, a lot of people plan their city getaways to Halong Bay in Quang Ninh Province during the off-season. But if you want to delve into Vietnamese Buddhist traditions, it is wise to take part in Yen Tu Festival in Quang Ninh when you know you can find a crowd.
This exciting festival is open solemnly with many traditional activities such as a procession by over 200 Buddhist practitioners, rituals of communion, opening ceremony, lion and dragon dances, drums and bell beats; first-year blessing to pray for Vietnam’s peace and Vietnamese’s prosperity, incense giving to the Buddha, and finally a pilgrimage of thousands of people to the Dong Pagoda on the top of the mountain after Yen Tu sacred seal ceremony.
Over the years, after a solemn ritual held at the base of Yen Tu Mountain, many pilgrims have seriously experienced the nearly 18.6-mile route from the foot of the mountain to the uppermost shrine - the top of Yen Tu Mountain named Dong Pagoda, which is located 3,503 feet above sea level. This journey requires much time and good health condition. But the locals, who believe that by climbing to Dong Pagoda they will have more lucks and better health in the upcoming year, are hugely proud of their traditional event. Moreover, the airy and holy atmosphere of the pagoda, the partial view of the picturesque landscape of Northeast Vietnam seen from this summit, and a chance to be lost in nature somewhere between the sky and the earth are well worth your effort.
The exciting atmosphere of Yen Tu Festival
- When: Annually, within 3 months from the 10th day of the 1st lunar month to the end of the 3rd lunar month. (This year, this festival commences on the 25th February).
- Where: Giai Oan Yard, Yen Tu historical site and beauty spot, Thuong Yen Cong Commune, Uong Bi City, Quang Ninh Province – 109 miles from Hanoi capital city.
- Why you should go: Every year millions of Buddhist monks, nuns, followers, and visitors flock from all over Vietnam to participate in this Buddhist Festival, arguably making it one of the best festivals in Vietnam.
Vietnam does festivals better than almost any other country, and Vietnam’s culture lovers flock here for just that reason. However, with hundreds of festivals all over Vietnam throughout the year, it can be overwhelming to try to pick just one. But if are into the largest festival in Vietnam in spring and cultural identities in Vietnam, have Yen Tu Festival included in the itinerary of your Vietnam culture tours.