Vietnam Buddhist Sangha suggests virtual Vu Lan gatherings hinh anh 1At a pagoda (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – The Executive Council of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha (VBS) has requested VBS provincial and municipal executive boards, training establishments, and places of worship to organise Vu Lan Festival 2020 in the virtual form amid the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19.

The VBS Executive Council asked the VBS provincial and municipal executive boards and establishments to strictly apply disease prevention measures, saying that the registration of praying for lost souls should be implemented via online applications during the festival.

It also called on monks, nuns, and followers nationwide to continue supporting the fund for COVID-19 prevention and control, and providing relief for those that are in difficult circumstances due to the pandemic.

Previously, in a document sent on July 30, the VBS Executive Council demanded its central and local units, training establishments, and places of worship to suspend festivals, ritual ceremonies, and training courses with mass gatherings, while increasing disease prevention measures like wearing face masks and frequently washing hands with soap or sanitiser.

On July 27, the VBS Executive Council ordered stronger anti-COVID-19 measures at its units in central Da Nang city and Quang Ngai province, the first localities to record community infections after 99 straight days of Vietnam being free of such transmissions.
The Vu Lan festival falls on the fifteenth day of the seventh month in the lunar calendar. On this month’s full moon, wandering souls are believed to return to their former homes.
The festival is based on the legend that once when mediating, a Buddha’s disciple named Muc Kieu Lien saw his mother suffering hell’s tortures. Following Buddha’s advice, on the seventh full moon of the year, Lien gathered monks and devotees to pray for his mother.
Therefore, the festival is also an occasion for children to express their gratitude towards their parents (especially mothers) and help ancestors’ souls find their way back to the earth.
As of August 16 morning, Vietnam has confirmed 951 COVID-19 infections, including 334 imported cases and 24 deaths./.