Happy Birthday, Uncle Ho!
05/18/2008 - 05/19/2008
Buddhism is a popular religious belief in Vietnam. Over the past few days, the town of Hoi An has been celebrating the "Buddha Full Moon Festival". It is often referred to as "Hoi An Legendary Night". The town closes to motorized traffic and only pedestrians are permitted into the Old Town area. Small tables are set up in front of each shop with an offering of flowers, meat, rice, and soup for Buddha. Small fires and incense are also lit and the streets are lined with colorful silk lanterns.
Ann joined some of the local people at the riverfront and took a ride on a small wooden boat to place lanterns in the river. By the end of the night, there were hundreds of different colored lanterns floating in the river. Unfortunately, the pictures do not do it justice.
The next day, we took a day trip out of Hoi An to an ancient temple site of the Champa Kingdom. The Champa people were originally a mix of Chinese, Thai, Cambodian, and Vietnamese who believed in Hinduism.
The temple of My Son is set back into the jungle with Cat Tooth Mountain in the background. The main temple was built in the late 4th century and was a large religious center thought to be one of the grandest cities of Southeast Asia during that time. There is one main area with many stone cuttings and representations of the Hindu God Shiva and the Cham people.
On the way back to town, we noticed many Vietnamese flags placed along the roadside. The flag is red with a single yellow star in the center. We saw even more flags on display as we got closer to town. It turns out that Monday was Uncle Ho’s Birthday. He is loved and revered by the Vietnamese people as the Father of Vietnam.
Steve & Ann