The Yen Tu Spring Festival is taking place in the northern province of Quang Ninh. The festival is part of the National Tourism Year activities hosted by the locality.

Yen Tu Mountain is known as the place where Tran Nhan Tong (1258-1308), the third King of the Tran Dynasty, spent the rest of his life practicing and propagating Buddhism after abdicating when he was 35.

He founded the first Vietnamese School of Buddhism called “Thien Tong” or Truc Lam Yen Tu Zen on the Mountain. The 20,000ha site is considered the capital of Vietnamese Buddhism.

In preparation for the festival, Quang Ninh province invested in infrastructure in the Yen Tu spiritual tourism site.

The province has also worked to complete the first phase of the Yen Tu festival tourism service centre, which features Truc Lam palace, a pilgrimage village and a museum.

Most Venerable Thich Thanh Quyet, Vice Chair of Executive Council, Vietnam Buddhist Sangha said: "This year, Yen Tu festival is part of the Quang Ninh Tourism Year activities and this has delighted all people, including monks and nuns. I can see joyful atmosphere here."

Key events held within the festival include a Cherry Blossom and Yen Tu yellow apricot blossom festival and Hang Son Pagoda Festival.

Tran Thi The, visitor from Hai Phong city told reporters: "I attend the festival and join other people in showing our respect for King-Monk Tran Nhan Tong and providing our children with his teachings."

Yen Tu Mountain is located about 50 kilometres from Ha Long City.

Yen Tu became a major Buddhist Centre and King Tran Nhan Tong became its first leader. He ordered the construction of hundreds of religious buildings on Yen Tu Mountains for teaching and following a religious life.

Yen Tu was officially listed as a special national relic site in September 2012.-VNA