Experience the Thay Pagoda Festival in Hanoi - AsiaRooms.com
February 18, 2010 (PRLEAP.COM) Travel NewsAsiaRooms.com highlights people using Hanoi hotels next month may like to take a trip to the nearby village of Thuy Khe in Quoc Oai District for the annual Thay Pagoda Festival.
Traditionally held on the seventh day of the third lunar month, this event pays tribute to the Vietnamese folk hero Tu Dao Hanh, who was a Buddhist monk during the era of the Ly Dynasty.
Tu Dao Hanh is credited with inventing and popularising the Vietnamese art of water puppetry, which has become the central focus of the festival.
Using a large screen to shield them from the audience, puppeteers stand waist-deep in the lake next to the Thien Phuc Pagoda, an elaborate structure said to be built on the ashes of Tu Dao Hanh.
They then act out stories from Vietnamese folklore using puppets attached to bamboo levers, with local folk singers providing musical accompaniment.
As well as the water puppets, the festival involves spectacular firework displays and a procession involving four nearby villages.
Buddhist pilgrims also present offerings at the pagoda amid the ritual burning of incense and lighting of candles.
The pagoda is situated about 40 kilometres west of Hanoi, in the shadows of Sai Son Mountain.