Participants to pin roses on their shirts. Photo: Vietnam+

The event was organized by the Vietnamese Language Knowledge Center, the Vietnamese Thai people association in Bangkok, the Thai-Vietnamese business association in Bangkok, the Thai-Vietnamese culture association and Vietnamese Buddhist followers in Thailand.

Participants pinned roses on their shirts to extend gratitude to their parents then joined a requiem ceremony to pray for Vietnamese soldiers who died for national freedom and independence.

Most Venerable Thich Nguyen Chon, head monk at Canh Phuoc Pagoda, underlined the significance of the event, saying that besides being a spiritual festival, the event also popularizes Vietnamese Buddhism and connects Vietnamese expatriates.

The event has been held annually among the Vietnamese community in Thailand since 2009.

The festival falls on the fifteenth day of the seventh month in the lunar calendar, with this month known as the spirit month in Buddhism. 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 Kien Lien (Maudgalyayana) saw his mother suffering hell’s tortures.

Following Buddha’s advice, on the seventh full moon of the year, Lien gathered monks and devotees and prayed with them for his mother. Therefore, the festival is to express gratitude towards ones’ parents (especially mothers) and also help ancestors’ souls find their way back to earth.

Source: VNA