Vu Lan Festival


Vu Lan Festival

Honoring: Showing gratitude to parents, ancestors.

Time: 15th of seventh lunar month.

Location: In the pagodas

Feature: Vu Lan celebration is at the same time with Vietnamese all Soul’s day.


Vu Lan ceremony is the festival of Buddism in 15th of seventh lunar month. The purpose of this ceremony is to wish for the dead relative’s soul would avoid the punishment of the next life.

Some people call it Vu Lan or Vietnamese Mother’s Day, others call it Trung Nguyen as it is the day for lost souls to be in the search of mercy-the festival has it all. Under any disguises, this festival takes place on the 15th day of the seventh month in Lunar Calendar.

Being the second largest annual traditional festival of Vietnam right after Tet Holiday, Vu Lan is widely celebrated throughout the country—among businesses, families, and other institutions.

In accordance with Buddhism’s belief, the seventh lunar month is known as the spirit month. On this month’s full moon, wandering souls are believed to return to their former homes.

The legend behind this festival is that once when mediating, a Buddha’s disciple named Muc Kien Lien saw that his mother was suffering from hell’s tortures. Following Buddha’s advice, on the seventh full moon of the year, Muc Kien Lien gathered monks and devotees and pray with them for his mother’s relieve.  Hence, this festival is to express gratitude and appreciation towards ones’ parents (especially mothers) and also help ancestors’ lost souls find their way back to earth.


In the celebration, there is often a wide range of offering to wish for the salvation of the dead souls. The offerings are rice, salt, and pure water. The important part is the status of the offered person.

In the pagoda, after the offering will be the ceremony of giving alms of foods. There is also a real activity of this which is cooking the rice soup and vegetarian food to give free to Buddhism follower.

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