Pilgrims relieved of valuables at Treasure Goddess temple in northern Vietnam

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Thousand of people trying to enter Ba Chua Kho temple.

Every year, thousands of pilgrims flock to the Ba Chua Kho (Treasure Goddess) Temple in the northern province of Bac Ninh during the spring season in the belief that the deity will bless them with prosperity in the coming year.

But the popularity of the festival also attracts many vendors as well as thieves who, in an ironic twist, rob the pilgrims of their money and valuables right at the temple where they come to pray for more wealth.

A report in the Dan Tri news web site said that on Friday morning (February 3), tens of thousands of people flocked to the temple in Co Me village, Vu Ninh district to offer their Lunar New Year prayers.

The situation quickly turned chaotic, the paper reported, as people burned paper money and made other offerings, beggars disturbed the prayers and vendors at makeshift shops loudly proclaimed their wares.

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The situation was ripe for the picking, as far as thieves are concerned and they stole mobile phones and money from the pilgrims.

The web site cited local authorities as saying that just on the morning of February 3, at least 10 visitors had their money, mobile phones and even a motorbike stolen.

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