The Yen Tu Pagoda Spring Festival in the northern coastal province of Quang Ninh opens on February 1 (the tenth day of the first lunar month).
State Vice President Nguyen Thi Doan, Buddhist dignitaries, monks, nuns, followers and visitors joined in a ceremonial procession before enjoying an art performance featuring lion and unicorn dances, as well as folk music by 100 local singers and dancers.
In preparation for this year’s festival, the Uong Bi municipal authorities have upgraded roads, set up medical stations, and mobilized forces to ensure security and safety for pilgrims, said Nguyen Van Long, Secretary of the Uong Bi municipal Party Committee.
A lighting system has also been installed, while the cable car system, operated by Tung Lam Development Joint Stock Company, has been improved to serve visitors, he said.
Yen Tu, recognised as the country’s leading centre for Buddhism, is located about 50km from Ha Long City. The route of the pilgrimage, which winds from the foot of the Yen Tu mountain to its highest peak, is almost 30km. Dong Pagoda, which sits atop the mountain’s highest peak, is more than a kilometre above sea level.