Viet Nam celebrated Vesak on 29 May 2018 with all the Buddhist temples across Viet Nam, both Mahayana and Theravada having their own special celebrations.
The main celebrations were held at the Quan Su Pagoda, the headquarters of Viet Nam Buddhist Sangha (VBS) in Ha Noi with the attendance of Deputy Patriarchs of the Viet Nam Buddhist Sangha (VBS), H.E Mr. Trương Hoà Bình, the Deputy Prime Minister of Viet Nam, H.E. Mr. Trần Thanh Mẫn, the President of the Vietnamese Fatherland Front, Buddhist monks, Party and state leaders, representative of government organizations, and Ambassadors of countries that have Buddhist population.
The ceremony included prayers and speeches by Venerable dignitaries and by the Deputy Prime Minister. Other main activities included bathing the statue of Prince Siddhartha, offering and later releasing pigeons and balloons to support world peace.
The Pagoda premises were also decorated with Sri Lankan style Vesak lanterns and pottery lamps were lit in the evening.
In the evening, the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Viet Nam made arrangements to screen the movie “Siddhartha: The Buddha” on the occasion of celebrating the Vesak Festival in 2018, 70th anniversary of Independence of Sri Lanka and 48 years of diplomatic Relations between Sri Lanka and Viet Nam in Ha Noi.
Prior to screening of the movie in the evening, Ven. Dr. Thich Duc Thien, Vice President and Secretary General of Viet Nam Buddhist Sangha and Vice President of Viet Nam – Sri Lanka Friendship Association welcomed guests and devotees numbering over 500. Among those were Venerable Thich Thanh Nhieu, Standing Deputy of the Executive Council of VBS, Ms. Ngo Thi Xuan Lan, Deputy Director General of the International Cooperation Department of the Government Committee for Religious Affairs of Viet Nam, Ambassadors, UN Resident Coordinator, Head of UNESCO in Viet Nam, other diplomats and representatives of International Organizations.
Addressing the audience, Ambassador Hasanthi Urugodawatte Dissanayake, briefly explained how Sri Lanka became a centre of Theravada Buddhism, the key places in Sri Lanka connected to Buddhism, the role of Buddhism in Sri Lanka Viet Nam relations and the recent visit of Hon. Karu Jayasuriya, Speaker of Parliament of Sri Lanka to Viet Nam, during which sacred relics of the Lord Buddha was donated to the President of the National Assembly of Viet Nam.
She introduced the movie briefly and thanked the Producer Mr. Navin Gooneratne, Chairman of the Light of Asia Foundation of Sri Lanka, who donated the same to the Embassy to be screen in Viet Nam. The movie has been dubbed in Vietnamese with English subtitles. The movie has received 05 out of the 08 awards presented at the 2014 UN Vesak Buddhist Film Festival in Viet Nam.
The Embassy arranged a dansala with food and beverages for those who came to watch the movie.