Hanoi (VNA) â€“ The United Nations Day of Vesak opened in Ha Noi on May 14, drawing the participation of nearly 2,000 international delegates from more than 60 countries and territories.
The celebrations started with a song and dance performance and a speech made by Most Venerable Thich Tu Nhon on behalf of Most Venerable Thich Tri Tinh, President of the Executive Board of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha. He welcomed delegates and highlighted the significance of the religious event, which takes place in Vietnam for the first time.
Most Venerable Thich Pho Tue, patriarch of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha; the UN Secretary General, state leaders and many Buddhist organisations sent messages to the festival which marks Lord Buddhaâ€™s birthday, his Enlightenment and entry into Nirvana .
Leaders from the Party, the State, the National Assembly, the Vietnam Fatherland Front and the Government Committee for Religious Affairs attended the opening ceremony. State President Nguyen Minh Triet spoke at the event.
The festival, themed â€œBuddhismâ€™s contributions to the building of an equitable, democratic and civilised society,â€ will run from May 14-17.
Following the opening ceremony, participants will sit for seven discussion sessions on various issues, including Buddhismâ€™s role in preventing wars, Buddhismâ€™s solutions to social equality, climate change...
On May 17, delegates to the festival will pay visits to famous Buddhist and world heritage sites in northern Quang Ninh and Ninh Binh provinces.