Update: 10:36 | 31/01/2020
The Bai Dinh Pagoda Festival kicked off in Gia Vien district of the northern mountainous province of Ninh Binh on January 30, the sixth day of the Lunar New Year.
Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh beat the drum to kick-start the festival, with delegates and dignitaries praying for peace, prosperity, favourable weather and good crops.
A ritual at the festival.
In addition, palanquin processions were held in honour of the Mountain God, Consecrated Nguyen, and the Mother Goddess of the Forest.
This has been the sixth edition of the annual festival since Trang An Landscape Complex in the locality was recognised as the World Cultural And Natural Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
The ancient Bai Dinh pagoda (Bai Dinh Co Tu), built thousands of years ago, is located on Bai Dinh Mountain and lies about 800m from the Tam The temple of the new Bai Dinh pagoda area.
According to the Vietnamese concept, the ancient Bai Dinh pagoda is located on an area regarded as a sacred land given it is the birth place of the eminent figures of the nation, including kings, saints and divinities.
The festival will take place until the end of the third lunar month.