A route to Ngoa Van pagoda (Photo:Internet)

Quang Ninh (VNA) – The Ngoa Van spring festival in the northern province of Quang Ninh will be held annually with the opening ceremony starting from the 9 th day of the first lunar month.

The information was revealed during a press conference to announce the activities of the festival in 2016 and the inauguration of the upgrade of Ngoa Van pagoda. The conference was organised on January 21 by the People’s Committee of Quang Ninh’s Dong Trieu town and the Buddhist Sangha of Vietnam-Quang Ninh branch.

This year, the Ngoa Van festival will officially open on February 16 and run for about three months.

The festival will create an opportunity for Buddhist monks, nuns and followers across Vietnam to make a pilgrimage to the national relic site Ngoa Van pagoda, which is considered a holy land of the Vietnamese Truc Lam Zen Monastery.

The pagoda, located on Bao Dai Mountain in Dong Trieu town, is where King-Monk Tran Nhan Tong, the third king of the Tran dynasty and the founder of Truc Lam Zen Monastery, attained Nirvana.

The upgrade of Ngoa Van Pagoda began in 2014 with a total investment of nearly 90 billion VND (nearly 4 million USD).

The Tam Duc Company will inaugurate a 2-kilometre cable car system worth 500 billion VND (21 million USD) to better serve tourists to Ngoa Van pagoda.

Tickets for the cable car are free on the first day of the Ngoa Van festival.-VNA