Ngoa Van Spring Festival opens at the Tran Dynasty Special Relic Site in Dong Trieu town, the northern province of Quang Ninh on February 24. (Photo: VNA)
Quang Ninh (VNA) – Ngoa Van Spring Festival, which opened at the Tran Dynasty Special Relic Site in Dong Trieu town, the northern province of Quang Ninh on February 24, became the first event of the locality in response to the “National Tourism Year 2018- Ha Long- Quang Ninh”.

The festival, running from the ninth day of the first lunar month to the end of the third lunar month, aims to pay tribute to King Monk Tran Nhan Tong, honour the ideological values of the Truc Lam Zen sect and pray for a prosperous year.

It is recorded that Tran Nhan Tong (1258-1308), the third King of the Tran dynasty, ascended to the throne when he was just 21. He is famed for defeating Mongol invaders twice as well as developing the national economy and culture during his 15-year reign.

The King abdicated when he was 35 and spent the rest of his life on Yen Tu Mountain practicing and propagating Buddhism. He founded the first Vietnamese School of Buddhism called “Thien Tong” or Truc Lam Yen Tu Zen on the 1,068m-high Yen Tu Mountain. The 20,000ha site is considered the capital of Vietnamese Buddhism.

He then attained Nirvana in 1308 at Ngoa Van pagoda, which is located in a complex of landscape and historical sites on the Yen Tu Mountain range.

During the past ten years, the Dong Trieu town People’s Committee has joined hands with the provincial Buddhist Sangha to upgrade the Ngoa Van relic site as well as the Tran Dynasty Special Relic Site in line with a master plan approved by the Prime Minister.

The upgrade of Ngoa Van Pagoda began in 2014 with a total investment of nearly 90 billion VND (nearly 4 million USD).-VNA