From noon to the evening of February 4, a large number of tourists from all over the world come to visit, worship and ask for blessings on the occasion of the full moon day of January, the year of the Rabbit, 2023 at Ba Thien Hau pagoda, Binh Duong province.
In Binh Duong, there are 8 “Thien Hau Cung” establishments, including Thien Hau Cung (Phu Cuong ward), Ba temple on Ngo Quyen street and Chau Van Tiet street (Lai Thieu ward), Thien Hau temple in Huong Chu Hien canal (Chanh ward). Nghia), Ba Temple in Bung Market (An Thanh Ward), Ba Bung Cau Temple (Hiep An Ward), Ba Thien Hau Temple (Dau Tieng District)…
In particular, “Thien Hau Cung” – Ba Pagoda (Phu Cuong Ward, Thu Dau Mot City) is a place of worship that is visited by a large number of people, especially on the occasion of January (lunar calendar), Ba Pagoda welcomes visitors. welcome people from all over the world to participate in the festival. On this occasion, there is often the custom of “Thinh Loc Ba” (starting from the late 14th of the lunar calendar to the morning of the 15th lunar calendar), where the buds are large incense sticks and paper lanterns. Asking for fortune with lamps and incense means praying for good fortune, fame, fortune and luck.
Ba Thien Hau Pagoda also has other names such as Ba Binh Duong Pagoda or Ba Thien Hau Temple. This is a temple built by the Vietnamese-Chinese community to worship their supreme goddess, Thien Hau Thanh Mau. The temple was built in the ancient architectural style with features of Chinese culture .
The pagoda was built in the mid-19th century, located at Huong Chu Hieu canal. According to the ancients, when building shrines, they often follow the principle of model palace architecture, that is, always carry the feminine essence in construction, that is, the shrine will be chosen near water such as rivers, streams, ponds and lakes, because Water has a negative, feminine element.
In 1923, the pagoda was damaged by fire, so the four Chinese states in this place including Fujian, Chaozhou, Guangdong and He together rebuilt the new temple in its current location. Up to now, the temple is nearly 100 years old and has become one of the outstanding relics of Binh Duong province, famous for the Ba Thien Hau Pagoda festival.
The main god is Thien Hau Thanh Mau, the statue has a solemn crown and is usually renewed every year, or every two or three years.
On both sides of the wall, there is a price tag with a sign saying Tuc Tinh – Hoi Ti, to call on people to be serious or avoid whenever there is a procession of Mrs. The second pair of signs is Thien Hau Nguyen Quan (the god who is in charge of money). The pairs of signs are arranged in order in worship as well as in the procession of the grandmother.
When the Chinese came to settle down and live in Thu Dau Mot – Binh Duong, they brought with them the legend and faith of “Thien Hau Thanh Mau”. They see him as the God who blesses seafarers, this is a form of folk belief.
“I was born and raised in Binh Duong, although I am not of Chinese origin, but since I knew about this temple, I have come here every year to ask for luck and pray for peace,” Ms. Nhi shared.
According to Mr. Long, staff at the temple usually do not have regulations on the number of gifts, who has as much as they can offer.
“In previous years on this day, from the temple yard to the main hall was full of people, there was no place left, this year the number of participants is somewhat reduced,” said Mr. Khanh – the festival’s organizers.
Every year on the festival day, the 4 states of Fujian, Chaozhou, Guangdong and He will assign each other to be in charge of each area at the festival. Each state will have small groups (shift shifts every 6 hours) that work together to support the event.
Mr. Luu – from Guangdong state is cleaning the incense burner in the main hall.
According to Mr. My – an employee at the temple, after offering incense, visitors will come to get lucky bags to take home.
In addition, if visitors have a need, they will come to the prayer table, write down the names of their loved ones and their wishes in the notebook located here. At the end of the day, the monks at the temple will chant blessings for each person.
Some people buy birds to go to the temple to free them.
As noted by the reporter, at 6 p.m. lion groups gathered at Tran Hung Dao Street (Phu Cuong Ward, Thu Dau Mot City) near the Ba Pagoda area to perform, attracting thousands of people to come and see, bringing a unique atmosphere. vibrant festive atmosphere.
Although it was past midnight, the flow of people coming to offer incense at Ba Pagoda was still crowded.
Some pilgrims, because they were tired, fell back in front of the Ba pagoda area.
“Because last year the epidemic couldn’t go, this year my family and I went to the temple together to pray for peace and for business,” said Mai (living in District 4, Ho Chi Minh City).
At 1:30 a.m., there were still a lot of pilgrims sitting at a water stall on Cach Mang Thang 8 street (Phu Cuong ward, Thu Dau Mot city).
According to Buddhist philosophy, the full moon day of January, also known as the Thuong Nguyen festival, is an appropriate time to pray for peace for the whole year. On this day, people often go to pagodas to make offerings, do many good deeds, and pray for peace to come to themselves and their families.