President Tran Dai Quang congratulates Buddhist monks, nuns and followers. (Photo: VGP)

Hanoi (VNA) - President Tran Dai Quang on May 21 attended a ceremony to celebrate the 2560th birthday of Lord Buddha at Quan Su pagoda in Hanoi.

President Quang highlighted the festival as an important religious event in the Vietnamese Buddhist followers’ spiritual life while stressing Vietnamese Buddhism’s contribution to national liberation, construction and development.

He said the Party, State and people acknowledged and appreciated the practical contributions of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha (VBS) and all Vietnamese Buddhist monks, nuns and followers to the great national unity cause, as well as nation building and safeguarding.

The President spoke highly of the outcomes of the VBS’s international relations, saying the VBS has served as an important bridge for overseas Vietnamese to look toward the homeland and join hands to develop the country, as well as its contribution to raising the role and stature of Vietnamese Buddhism and the image the country and people of Vietnam in the world.

He said he hoped the VBS will always come along with the nation, and encourage Buddhist followers to join hands with people of all walks of life in realising national industrialisation and modernisation.

At the ceremony, Most Venerable Thich Thanh Nhieu, Vice President of the VBS’s Executive Council delivered a message from the Patriarch of the VBS to Buddhist followers on the Buddha’s birth anniversary, calling on them to take part in efforts in protecting the environment and responding to climate change.

President Quang joined Buddhist dignitaries, monks, nuns and followers in ceremonial activities at the pagoda, including incense offering, bathing the Buddha’s statue and the release of pigeons to pray for peace and happiness.-VNA