The Hanoitimes - “Tet” – Lunar New Year is around the corner. The whole country is most lively and cheerful during this time, and you don’t want to miss this chance to travel around and learn more about Vietnamese traditions in Hanoi.
Visiting pagodas at the beginning of Lunar New Year has become an aged tradition of Vietnamese people. Here are the five best places to go in Hanoi – the capital of Vietnam during the 2019 Lunar New Year.
Tay Ho temple
Tay Ho temple.
Phu Tay Ho is on the northern bank of West Lake, a few kilometers along the lake road from Xuan Dieu street, Tay Ho district. Tay Ho temple is dedicated to the Mother Goddesses and the Jade Emperor and is therefore most correctly referred to as a palace, although laypeople would call it a temple.
Tay Ho temple is one of the best destination in Hanoi for those wanting to make a pilgrimage journey to pray for good luck and happiness on the first days of the Lunar New Year.
Quan Thanh temple
Quan Thanh temple is a Taoist temple built during the Ly Dynasty (1010-1225) to honor “Tran Vo” the “God of the North” who was beloved by all local Taoists. Therefore the temple was named Quan Thanh, literally translated as “Place of the Gods”.
Quan Thanh temple.
By tradition, Hanoians often come to Quan Thanh temple on the occasion of the Lunar New Year or the first and fifteenth days of each lunar month (new and full moon respectively) to worship and pray for health, luck and happiness for them and their relatives.
Tran Quoc pagoda
Located on a small penisula on the East side of West Lake, Tran Quoc pagoda is regarded as the most ancient pagoda in Hanoi with its history line of more than 1,500 years. With all the historical and architectural values it possesses, Tran Quoc pagoda is not only worth visiting as a sacred sanctuary of Buddhism attracting countless Buddhist believers, but also an indispensible destination for cultural explorers to Vietnam.
Tran Quoc pagoda.
During the Lunar New Year, a lot of local people go to Tran Quoc pagoda to say their prayers. If you are interested in seeing the prayings, it’s definitely worth a visit.
Kim Lien pagoda
Kim Lien pagoda is located in Nghi Tam, Tay Ho district. According to historical records, it was part of the former Tu Hoa Palace where the daughter of King Ly Than Tong (12th century) and her royal maids grew mulberry for silk-production.
Kim Lien pagoda.
The pagoda is a combination of Buddhist and Taoist arts, as evidenced by three parallel buildings symbolizing the Sky, Earth, Humans, as well as windows representing the Buddhist concept of “existence and non-existence”, which are surrounded by the Eight Trigrams of Taoism.
Ngoc Son temple
Ngoc Son temple – Hanoi’s most visited temple - sits on a small island in the northern part of Hoan Kien Lake, connected to the lakeshore by an elegant scarlet bridge, constructed in classical Vietnamese style. The temple is dedicated to General Tran Hung Dao (who defeated the Mongols in the 13th century), La To (patron saint of physicians) and scholar Van Xuong.
Ngoc Son temple.
Local people always visit Ngoc Son temple during the first day of the Lunar New Year, and pray for good luck and happiness.