In the New Year, when the spring comes, after the moment of family reunion, will be the first people will a Spring trip (often to the temples) to pray for peace, luck, fortune, health ... Followings are the attractive destinations in the North that you should visit.
#1.Taking a trip to Vieng Market (Nam Dinh) – “buying” luck and “selling” troublesIn the beginning of the year, everyone wants to get good luck, get rid of bad things of the old year. Referring to the attractions in the north, we can not fail to mention Vieng Market, the market met only once a year in the New Year day to get good luck. The custom of going to Vieng market in Nam Dinh has been handed for hundreds of years.
Once a year, on the 7th, 8th of lunar January, Nam Dinh residents and tourists from everywhere flock to Vieng market to “buy” good fortune, “sell” the risk, pray for luck for themselves and their family.
The market is met from the evening of the 7th to the morning of the 8th in Lunar January. People, regardless the buyer or seller, go to the market without caring about profits. The seller do not raise the price, the buyers do not bargain so strictly, because, in their belief, caring about the price will reduce the sacredness, the luck of the first fair.
Goods are sold in the unsettled tents or in anywhere on the ground, but not in kiosks, market stalls as the modern markets nowadays; therefore, Vieng market carries the features of a traditional market in the Northern plain. People here mainly sell agricultural tools, flowers, seed and folk toys, ...
Farmers attending the fair to buy sickles, hoes or knives to wish a good weather year and favorable work. People who like trees often buy a few small plants, mainly get buds (figuratively, the good fortune) in early spring. Children are interested in the toys, especially tò he (a toy figurine made from glutinous rice powder) in shape of a dragon, a phoenix... The market is met in only one day and only once a year, so people often wish that they could go to Vieng market twice in January.
#2.Bai Dinh Pagoda (Ninh Binh)In the New Year, many people enjoy their spring by taking a pilgrimage trip to the land of the ancient capital of Hoa Lu, Ninh Binh, where has the famous Bai Dinh pagoda to commemorate the past, tribute the ancestors and look for the perfectly good truth, goodness, and beauty. In addition, we can enjoy the beauty of the most famous scenic complex in northern Vietnam.
Bai Dinh Pagoda, which is recognized as the highest mountain temple in Southeast Asia, is located in Gia Vien district, Ninh Binh province. Bai Dinh Pagoda is a part of Trang An Scenic Complex, where is recognized as a cultural and natural heritage of the world by UNESCO.
As a massive architectural work, with an area of 700 hectares, Bai Dinh Pagoda is currently the temple owning the most records in Vietnam. Coming to the populations of mountains and Bai Dinh Pagoda, tourists will have the opportunity to visit the famous sections of the temple.
The first section that you meet is Tam Quan gate (Three Gates) with the two statues representing the Good and Evil. Then, you will encounter the bell tower of 3 floors with the arched roof. This tower keeps a bronze bell of 36 tons, the largest bell in Vietnam. After that, you will visit Phap Chu worship hall, where has Tathagata Buddha statue cast in bronze with a weight of more than 100 tons and a height of 8 meters.
Walking to the inside, you will encounter Tam The hall of 76 meters above sea level, this hall is the largest and the most massive building in the temple. This is the worship hall of the three Buddhas symbolizing the past, the present, and the future.
Bai Dinh Pagoda festival usually takes place from the beginning of the lunar year, starting from the 1st day of Tet, the main festival on the 6th and lasting until the lunar March. The ceremony of worshiping the Buddha is organized solemnly to commemorate saint Nguyen Minh Khong, commemorate the merits of the Buddhas, Cao Son God and Thuong Ngan Mother (Mother of the Forests).
The festival is cheerful, bustling (from the 6th of New Year) with a lot of activities such as dancing, singing, wrestling, tug of war, playing cards and other folk games. There are a large number of Buddhists, locals, and thousands of domestic and international visitors participating in the festival. On the accession of the New Year, everyone prays for luck, fortune prospers, favorable career, good health ... for their family.
#3.Huong (Perfume) Pagoda Festival (Hanoi)Huong Pagoda Festival has also opened annually from the 6th of lunar January, lasts until the end of lunar March. Huong Pagoda festival is still considered the biggest festival of the year held in Huong Son scenic area, My Duc district, Hanoi.
Huong Pagoda Festival is held right in the spring when white apricot- flowers bloom and cover the forests. At this time, millions of visitors from everywhere flock to Huong pagoda to pilgrimage. People come here not only to worship in the land of Buddha, where Avalokitesvara Buddha evolved and led a religious life but also to take a trip to the mountain and river, admire the natural beauty that the Creator bestowed Huong Son land.
Dubbed “Nam Son De Nhat Dong” (literally translated as the most beautiful cave in Vietnam), Huong Pagoda is an incredibly famous relic and scenic spots, including a system of temples situated in pristine mountain forests, so they still keep their mysterious pristine looks.
With the hands of natural artifacts along with the creation of humans, Huong Son has a very mysterious cave system. Visiting Huong Son, travelers is like getting lost in the fairy land with mountains, river, the clouds, with iridescent stones like flowers and silk, with stone steps floating in the clouds ... The beauty of Huong Son has become the inspiration for many artists to create the masterpieces.
#4.Taking a pilgrimage to Yen Tu (Quang Ninh), the land of Buddhism
Trăm năm tích đức tu hành
Chưa lên Yên Tử, chưa thành quả tu
(Even when you have accumulated good works and led a religious life for hundreds of year, your practice would not be acknowledged without visiting Yen Tu)
In the new year, people in the North often enjoy the spring by visiting the land of Buddha, Yen Tu Mountain, a solemn pagoda with pristine mountains and a system of hundreds of temples, shrines, pagodas stretching from the Red slope to the peak of Yen Tu. Since ancient times, the imperial dynasties in our country ranked Yen Tu mountain as one of the famous mountains in Vietnam.
The scenic area of Yen Tu, Uong Bi district, Quang Ninh province, is located in a primeval forest in the Northeast on an altitude of over 1,000 meters above sea level. It is known as the source and the center of Buddhism in Vietnam with the great mark of Buddha Emperor Tran Nhan Tong. Despite having to go through thousands of stone steps to reach the summit, tourists want to pilgrimage to the land of Buddism once in their lifetime.
Yen Tu Festival begins on 10th, lunar January and lasts until the end of lunar when spring is about to end. The rituals are performed solemnly in the foothills and then the journey of Buddhists conquering the thousands of stone steps, going through the pine forest, bamboo to reach Dong (Bronze) pagoda, the highest point of Mount Yen Tu.
In every festival season, Yen Tu welcomes millions of visitors from everywhere taking a pilgrimage to the Buddhist land. People go to Yen Tu to feel a majestic, wild natural, to get immersed in a pure land and feel their mind being restful.
January is the month of relaxing and festivals, so people enjoy the spring by taking a pilgrimage, going to the temples to pray for peace, talent, fortune, good luck for themselves and their family. Please select the appropriate location for your spring trip in the new year to begin a year of luck and peace.
Readmore: Top 10 destinations to visit in Vietnam, Things to do in Vietnam