More than 300 monks and 10,000 Buddhism followers attend the massive prayer and lit up more than 40,000 water lanterns shaped like lotus flowers on Monday night. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh
A mass prayer at the Tam Chuc Pagoda in northern Vietnam, part of the Vesak celebrations, has set a world record.
Vesak, a celebration of the Buddha’s birthday and his enlightenment, was a mega event in Vietnam this year (May 12-14).
Chosen for the third time to organize the UN Vesak Day, Vietnam organized a grand ceremony at the country’s biggest pagoda complex on the banks of the Tam Chuc Lake, in Ha Nam Province.
The ceremony was recognized as the world’s largest such event by the World Records Union (WorldKings), the first union of national and regional records organization in the world.
As part of the celebrations, a mass prayer for world peace was held on the night of May 13 in the pagoda’s pillar garden.
More than 300 monks and 10,000 Buddhist followers attended the ceremony and lit up more than 40,000 lotus lanterns that were floated on the lake.
The lotus flower is a Buddhist symbol of purity of the body, speech, and mind.
The United Nations launched an international day of Vesak in December 1999, and the auspicious occasion has been internationally celebrated every year since 2004.
Organized by the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha, this year was the third time the U.N.’s commemoration of Vesak was held in Vietnam, after 2008 and 2014.
The event attracted the participation of 1,650 international delegates and guests from 112 countries and territories including monks, Buddhist sangha leaders and Buddhist scholars. Over 20,000 Buddhist followers also attended the event.