Nationwide, tens of thousands of monks, nuns, Buddhist followers and tourists have flocked to pagodas and Spring festivals at the beginning of the new year, wishing for peace, good weather, happiness and prosperity for all people.

The Bai Dinh pagoda festival opened on the sixth day of the lunar year, or Jan. 28 in the modern calendar, in Gia Sinh commune, Gia Vien district, in the northern province of Ninh Binh.

Most Venerable Thich Thanh Nhieu, head of Bai Dinh pagoda, said that going to the pagoda at the beginning of the new year is a spiritual cultural tradition of the Vietnamese people. From the first day of the new year, thousands of visitors went to offer incense and enjoy the pagoda’s atmosphere.

The ancient Bai Dinh pagoda on Dinh mountain dates back 1,000 years ago and the renovated one, with construction starting in 2003, is one of largest pagodas in Southeast Asia . Its treasures include 12 national records, including a 30-tonne bronze bell, a 150-tonne Buddha bronze statue and 500 Arhat statues.

On the same day, a festival to celebrate the uprising of the Trung Sisters against Chinese rule 1,972 years ago was organised at a temple dedicated to the sisters in Hanoi ’s outskirts district of Me Linh.

The three-day festival aims to commemorate the two national heroines, inspire national pride and educate younger generations about patriotic traditions.

According to the Vietnamese historical account, Trung Trac and her younger sister Trung Nhi, rode elephants to lead the troops in battle and defeated Chinese troops coming from the north, gaining independence for the country after more than two centuries of domination by the foreign feudal invaders.

The revolt was briefly successful and Trung Trac established herself as ruler of an independent state, becoming the first royal leader and also the first female leader in the country’s history. She chose Me Linh as a new capital.

Also on the sixth day of the lunar year, the Huong Tich pagoda festival opened in Thien Loc commune, Can Loc district in the central province of Ha Tinh .

The spring festival has attracted 200,000 visitors since the first day of the new year, doubling numbers at last year’s festival.

On this occasion, Ha Tinh inaugurated a 900m cable car transport system, which includes 25 eight-seat cabins. It takes visitor only eight minutes for a round trip./.