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When is the Vu Lan Festival? What should be done during Vu Lan Month?


Nội dung bài viết
  • 2. Significance of Vu Lan Day
  • 3. What should you do during Filial Piety Month?
  • The tradition of Vu Lan Festival dates back to as early as 1072 when King Ly Nhan Tong of Vietnam conducted ceremonies to honor his parents (as recorded in the “Complete Annals of Dai Viet”). With its profound humanitarian significance, embodying the tradition of gratitude deeply rooted in the Vietnamese people, Vu Lan Festival is not merely a day for Buddhists but has become a day of filial piety celebrated by all Vietnamese citizens.

    'Vu Lan' is the shortened term for 'Vu Lan Bon' (盂蘭盆), derived from the Pali word 'ullambhana', meaning 'liberation', signifying liberation for those suffering in the depths of hell.

    When is Filial Piety Day celebrated? Filial Piety Day, or Vu Lan Festival, is observed on the 15th day of the 7th lunar month every year. In the Gregorian calendar, Filial Piety Day in 2023 falls on Wednesday, August 30th. This date coincides with the Ghost Festival in China and is also observed as the day to relieve the suffering of departed souls.

    2. Significance of Vu Lan Day

    Vu Lan Day provides an opportunity for children and grandchildren to express heartfelt gratitude and appreciation for the immense sacrifices and nurturing provided by their parents (both in this life and past lives), grandparents, and ancestors.

    This day also aims to uphold the noble tradition of remembering one's roots deeply ingrained in the Vietnamese culture.

    Vu Lan Festival also encourages everyone to follow the Buddhist spirit of repaying kindness, which comprises four sources of grace: gratitude towards parents for giving birth and raising them; gratitude towards teachers for educating and imparting knowledge; gratitude towards ancestors for sacrificing to build the nation; and gratitude towards peers.

    In Vietnam, there's a tradition of wearing a rose pinned to the shirt on Vu Lan Festival. On this day, those with living parents wear a red rose on their chest, while those whose parents have passed wear a white rose. This tradition was initiated in 1962 by Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh to express beautiful and sacred sentiments.

    Wearing a rose on the shirt is one of the rituals observed on Vu Lan Festival.

    3. What should you do during Filial Piety Month?

    If you're wondering what to do during Filial Piety Month to express gratitude and respect to your parents, grandparents, and ancestors, check out the suggestions below.

    Prepare a complete ancestral offering meal

    On Filial Piety Day, every family usually prepares an ancestral offering meal to present on the ancestral altar, demonstrating gratitude and seeking blessings for the health and peace of their relatives.

    Ancestral offering meals don't need to be elaborate; what matters is the sincerity of the host.

    Visit the ancestral graves

    Filial Piety Day is an occasion to express gratitude and respect for ancestors, grandparents, and parents. Therefore, you can visit the graves of deceased relatives, ancestors, and pray for the well-being and harmony of the family.

    Visit the temple to pray for peace for parents

    During this festival, you can visit temples, participate in Buddhist rituals, contribute to temple activities, offer prayers, release floating lanterns, and pray for peace and health for your parents and loved ones.

    Releasing floating lanterns aims to pray for the deceased and for blessings in life.

    Note, when going to the temple, remember to dress modestly and respectfully to maintain the sanctity of the sacred place.

    Performing good deeds, practicing vegetarianism accrues merit.

    Engaging in virtuous deeds, practicing vegetarianism, and refraining from harming during Vu Lan month are all ways to demonstrate one's filial piety towards parents.

    Spending quality time, taking care of grandparents and parents.

    During this time, dedicate ample time to converse and care for parents and grandparents. You can go to the temple together to pray for peace, go out for leisure activities, share a warm meal to strengthen family bonds.

    Give meaningful gifts to grandparents and parents.

    During Vu Lan month, you can also surprise your grandparents and parents with meaningful gifts such as smartwatches, smartphones, tablets, TVs, washing machines, refrigerators, or health care products like massage machines, functional foods, etc.

    Present meaningful gifts to parents during Vu Lan month.

    Above is an article about what is Filial Piety Day, when is Filial Piety Day in 2023, what to do during Filial Piety Month to show gratitude to parents. Wishing you and your family a joyful and happy Vu Lan season with your loved ones.

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