The image of the pagoda and the sound of pagoda bells have become familiar to Vietnamese people, helping them feel relaxed and calm. For many Vietnamese people, the sound of the pagoda bell is closely associated with nostalgic memories and reflects the cultural beauty of the country.

Pagodas are very popular throughout Vietnam. Many of them are hundreds of years old. Vietnamese pagodas are unique for their architecture while the pagoda bell makes them more sacred and solemn.

The history of Vietnamese pagodas reflects the long history of Buddhism in Vietnam. According to Buddhist concepts, the sound of bell is the sound of intellectuality because it awakens people’s mind.

There are three daily sessions of bell ringing. Each session has 108 tokes. Buddhist concepts say that when the sound of the bell reaches heaven, those in heaven rest in peace, when it reaches hell, those down there are released from their sufferings.

The sacred sound of pagoda bells reminds Buddhist followers and laymen to share their love with other people and pray for peace. For Vietnamese people, the Buddhist conception of the universe is profound and easy to understand.

In modern life, the sound of the pagoda bell recalls the sacred soul of the nation. So for Vietnamese people, bell casting and ringing are of great importance. A bell must be cast by skillful and moral craftsmen. Before casting, several rituals are held and then step by step, a batch of bronze is cast with gold contributed by donors.

According to the traditional bronze casting technique, a certain amount of gold mixed with the bronze in casting will make the sound of the bell travel farther. Gold is expensive, but, many people want to donate gold to bell casting to show their belief in Buddha, considering it an honor for their family.

Vu Thi Minh, a gold donor for bell casting in Hanoi , said: " I donated gold for bell casting today. I pray for happiness for my family".

A fter casting, the bell is kept in the pagoda and in the morning and late afternoon, will toll slowly to help people feel relaxed in their busy life.

Dr. Pham Minh Khang, a folklore researcher, said: "The sound of the bell is the sound of the sacred world. When it echoes, people feel sacred and solemn reflecting people’s wish for a better life. They ring the bell to pray for good luck and drive away all the bad luck. The sound of the bell reflects people’s souls and their wish for peace, good weather, and prosperity”.

In Vietnam, the image of pagodas and the sound of pagoda bells are closely associated with rural life and farmers. When the bell echoes in the morning, it wakes people up to go to the field and in the afternoon, it signals the end of the working day. The sound of the bell gives people relief from their daily hardship and refreshes their minds.-VNA