Officials and dignitaries of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha offer incense to Lord Buddha at the ceremony in Hanoi on May 29 (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The Vietnam Buddhist Sangha (VBS) Central Committee held a grand ceremony in Hanoi on May 29 (the 15th day of the fourth lunar month) to mark the 2562nd birth anniversary of Lord Buddha.

The event also saw the presence of Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh, President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee Tran Thanh Man, officials of ministries and central agencies, along with ambassadors and representatives of some foreign diplomatic agencies in Vietnam.

At the ceremony, Most Venerable Thich Thanh Nhieu, Vice Standing Chairman of the VBS’s Executive Council, read the message that Supreme Patriarch of the VBS Thich Pho Tue sent to Vietnamese Buddhist monks, nuns, hermits and followers at home and abroad on the occasion of Lord Buddha’s 2562nd birthday.

The message highlighted the VBS’s achievements over the past years, which have upheld the Vietnamese Buddhism’s tradition of standing by the nation for thousands of years. 

The Supreme Patriarch called on all Vietnamese Buddhists to make unceasing efforts to help Buddhism continue playing an important role in the great national unity bloc and national development and protection.

[Photos: Procession of Buddha's relics on Hanoi street]

In his speech, Deputy PM Truong Hoa Binh said Lord Buddha’s birthday celebration, also known as Vesak, is not only a major religious event in the spiritual life of Buddhists in Vietnam but also a global cultural festival recognised by the United Nations General Assembly in 1999.

He stressed the Party and State’s consistent policy of respecting people’s right to freedom of belief and religion and ensuring religions are practiced in line with law and have their positive values promoted.

The VBS has developed in all aspects and continually been connected with the country, he said, expressing his belief that the Sangha will continue to carry out religious activities for the sake of people, thus affirming the pre-eminence of Buddhism and deserving Buddhists and people’s trust.

He added he hopes that the VBS will remain an important bridge linking overseas and domestic Buddhists in order to contribute to the country’s development.

Also on May 29, the VBS held a similar ceremony in Ho Chi Minh City to celebrate Lord Buddha’s 2562nd birthday.-VNA