Vu Thu district in the northern province of Thai Binh held a ceremony on October 29 to begin Keo Pagoda festival and receive a certificate recognising it as national intangible cultural heritage.
The festival is held annually from the 10th to 15th day of the ninth lunar month to honour Zen Master Khong Lo (1016-1094) – founder of the Keo Pagoda.
It features religious rituals and communal activities such as Buddhist offerings, palanquin parades, love duet singing on boats, and folk games.
Speaking at the event, Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Dang Thi Bich Lien asked Thai Binh province to complete a project to preserve and develop the festival.
The relic site management board and Vu Thu district authorities were asked to ensure safety and order for the festival and promote its values to visitors.
Keo pagoda was founded in 1061. After it was swept away by a flood in 1611, the pagoda was rebuilt in 1632 and most of its architectural features, including 17 structures with 128 rooms, remain until today. In 2012, it was recognised as a national special relic site.
In addition to the autumn festival, another spring festival takes place here annually on the 4th day of the first lunar month.
The pagoda attracts more than 2,500 visitors to Thai Binh every year.-VNA