The 2020 Keo Pagoda Autumn Festival opened in Duy Nhat Commune, Vu Thu District, Thai Binh Province, on October 26, the tenth day of the ninth month of the lunar calendar.
Just over 130km from the capital, Hanoi, Keo Pagoda, which was originally built during the Ly Dynasty and reconstructed in 1632, is an ancient building with 128 rooms - more than any other pagoda in Vietnam.
The Keo Pagoda Festival was recognised as national intangible cultural heritage in 2017 by the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism.
The festival is held annually from the 10th to the 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.
In addition to traditional religious rituals commemorating the Ly Dynasty Buddhist monk, the festival also hosts a variety of cultural activities that reflect the lifestyle of the Red River Delta’s agricultural communities.
Many folk activities, such as racing shells, trumpets and drums, a performance of a traditional dance, and the preparation of “phoenix-winged” betel quids, are being organising at the festival.
This year’s festival will run until October 31 and is considered an opportunity to showcase the landscapes and people of Thai Binh while helping to promote the province’s cultural and socio-economic development.