Thousands of Buddhists flock to Hanoi temple on pivotal praying night

Thanh Nien News

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More than 10,000 attended the event and police had to block parts of the street


 More than 10,000 people gather along Tay Son Street outside Phuc Khanh Pagoda the night of February 21 to attend a praying ceremony for the new lunar year. Photos: Viet Hung/Zing
Police have put up barriers to save nearly one kilometer of the road for people attending the ceremony. 
The rituals take around an hour.
 Many people stand patiently on the street in the cold weather.
 More than 100 police officers have been sent in to maintain security of the area.
Late comers have to pray from afar, with vehicles running next to them. 
This man only finds a spot more than 100 meters away, and he still does not want to miss the event. 
Children are also brought to the event. 
 People are supposed to leave a note with the names and years of birth of their family’s members and pay VND100,000 to the pagoda for the monks to pray for their well-being too.
Some attendants make use of a police car. 
An ambulance struggles to drive past the crowd.
"Luck” in the form of bananas and tiny cakes are distributed from the pagoda after the rituals end. One has to jostle hard to have some luck to bring home. 
Some university students raise banners asking people not to litter, because many have done so in previous years. The boards say that keeping the streets clean is also a good act that will be rewarded. 
You can find the original Vietnamese story here on Zing.

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