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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in Vietnam series at VietnamesePod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Vietnamese holidays and observances. I’m Michael, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson # 20 - Bai Dinh pagoda Festival.
The Bai Dinh Pagoda Festival, or lễ hội chùa Bái Đính, is a spring festival that takes place from the afternoon of lunar January 1, but the opening festival is on lunar January 6. The festival lasts until the end of lunar March. It starts pilgrimage ceremonies to the land of the ancient capital, Ninh Bình province.
In this lesson, we will discuss the Bái Đính Pagoda Complex and the festival that takes place there.
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question?
What was the name of the ancient capital during the Đinh Dynasty?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
The Bai Dinh Pagoda area has been claimed by a number of media outlets as the largest pagoda in all of Southeast Asia, with an area of 539 hectares, including 27 hectares of ancient Bai Dinh Pagodas and 80 hectares of new pagodas. It also has facilities that have been updated and developed over time, including a cultural park and Buddhist Academy, a reception area, and a landscape park.
The Bai Dinh Pagoda Festival includes a ceremony or lễ that consists of lighting incense to worship deities and a ceremony of sacrifice, or tế, to these deities. The first portion of the ceremony includes a procession carrying ancient ancestral tablets. A palanquin is also brought from the ancient pagoda to the new one and then the festival begins.
The festival has many traditional activities. Visitors here can take part in folk games, or trò chơi dân gian. The festival also presents a great opportunity for those who love exploring as there are a lot of caves, or hang động, in the area. Those who enjoy the purity of the temple can go sightseeing in the pagoda and listen to Chèo, Xẩm and Ca Trù songs. Some important events from the past are also reenacted on the Chèo stage in an effort to preserve the area’s history for future generations.
Bai Dinh Pagoda also attracts many visitors due to the fact that the pagoda holds many records, including the largest bronze statue of Maitreya Buddha in Southeast Asia, the largest gold-coated bronze statue in Asia, and the largest bronze bell in Vietnam.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question!
What was the name of the ancient capital during the Đinh Dynasty?
From the Đinh Dynasty to the year 1010, this place was a capital named Hoa Lư. However, it later became an ancient capital when King Lý Thái Tổ moved the capital to Thăng Long (which is called Hanoi nowadays).
So listeners, how was this lesson? Did you learn something interesting?
Are there any landmarks like pagodas in your country?
Please leave a comment telling us at VietnamesePod101.com, and we’ll see you next time!

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VietnamesePod101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
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Are there any landmarks like pagodas in your country?

 

aidriano
Thursday at 06:47 PM
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Just the usual comments re "lunar January, lunar March etc."