Singing and dancing performances by Buddhist monks and followers in Ho Chi Minh City on May 3 made up an arts programme to celebrate the upcoming United Nations Day of Vesak.

The performances were selected from a shortlist of 160 gathered by different localities. They demonstrated the values of Buddhism and its importance in the life of Vietnamese people, while delivering wishes for happiness.

The main celebrations of the United Nations Day of Vesak (Buddha’s Birthday, Enlightenment and Passing Away) will be held in Bai Dinh Temple in the northern province of Ninh Binh from May 7-11.

This will be the second time Vietnam has hosted the event.

In 2008, the Vesak celebrations in Hanoi were attended by over 600 Buddhist delegations from around the world.

Buddhism has been practiced in Vietnam for over 2,000 years. The country has more than 12 million Buddhist followers, over 40,000 monks and nuns and almost 15,000 temples, monasteries and other places of worship.-VNA