(Ninh Binh) Bai Dinh Temple Festival

Bai Dinh Pagoda with the acreage of 80 ha is located in the West of Hoa Lu ancient capital and on the other side of mountain in comparison with the ancient pagoda. This is a large construction containing many items

Bai Dinh Pagoda with the acreage of 80 ha is located in the West of Hoa Lu ancient capital and on the other side of mountain in comparison with the ancient pagoda. This is a large construction containing many items. The main architectures include Tam The Temple, Phap Chu Temple, Quan Am Temple, Bao Thap (Stupa), Bell Tower, and other infrastructures including Buddhist institute, receiving area, etc., constructed in different periods of time.

 

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Bai Dinh Pagoda with the color of festival from boat, costume...


The architecture of pagoda area is outstanding with large and majestic cubes, bearing the marks of Vietnamese architecture as using mainly local materials like Ninh Binh greenstone, Tu Thiet wood, dark brown tiles from Bat Trang and so on. The most different thing in architecture of Bai Dinh Temple is its curved dark brown dome like the tail of phoenix, which is different from the straight appearance of temple in China. The decorations on this pagoda also bear the marks of Vietnamese traditional villages. When being built, Bai Dinh Pagoda was called “giant work” with 500 artists with many construction teams from famous traditional villages including Phu Loc carpenter, Ninh Van stone sculpture, Y Yen bronze casting, Van Lam embroidering, Cat Dang lacquer, Dong Xam silver carving and so on. These artists used local materials like ironwood, Ninh Binh blue stone, Bat Trang ceramic tile to create Vietnamese beauty in architecture of Bai Dinh Pagoda.

 

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Join in a motley Bai Dinh Temple in the days of spring festival.


Something special in the construction site of Bai Dinh Temple is the opening space. In construction, the giant Buddhist statue placed outside attracted numerous pilgrimages coming for worshipping. Visitors could go anywhere to see the parts of construction which were in progress.


Bai Dinh Pagoda is praised by press as a pagoda with many Asian and regional records. As of June 6th 2009, this pagoda had gained 6 records. In February 28th 2012, the pagoda gain 2 more records of the largest pagoda in Asia. The records of Bai Dinh Pagoda include:

  1. Asian largest Bronze Buddhist statue plated with gold: the 100 tons bronze statue in Phap Chu temple
  2. The Southeast Asian largest bronze Statue of Maitreya: the outside Statue of Maitreya of 100 tons
  3. Vietnam biggest bronze bell: the 36 kg bell in Thap Chuong
  4. Vietnam largest pagoda area: total of 539 ha (ancient pagoda of 27 ha, new pagoda of 80 ha)
  5. The pagoda with longest Arhat corridor in Asia: Arhat corridor of nearly 3 km long.
  6. The pagoda with the largest number of Arhat statue in Vietnam: there are 500 Arhat statues of 2m high
  7. The pagoda with the largest pearl well in Vietnam
  8. The pagoda with the largest number of pagoda tree in Vietnam: 100 pagoda trees which are engrafted from the Indian pagoda tree.

Bai Dinh Pagoda Festival is a spring festival taking place from the afternoon of January 1st to the end of March in lunar calendar. The opening ceremony is in January 6th. This is the beginning festival for the later ones to the land of Hoa Lu ancient capital in Ninh Binh. Out of the time above, visitors can just admire the landscapes of this pagoda without joining the cultural activities of the festival.

 

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The Statues of Cao Son God Thanh Mau Thuong Ngan attract tourists.


Bai Dinh Pagoda Festival includes 2 parts: Le and Hoi. The first part contains some rituals of incensing, commemorating merits of Nguyen Minh Khong God, worshiping Cao Son God Thanh Mau Thuong Ngan. Bai Dinh Pagoda Festival starts with the procession of plaques worshipping Cao Son God, Duc Thanh Nguyen and Chua Thuong Ngan from the old pagoda to the new one to continue with the part of Hoi.


The part of Hoi include many traditional fork games, visiting caves, scenes of pagodas, enjoying the art of Cheo, Xam and Ca Tru of the old capital land. The stages are prepare by Ninh Binh Cheo Theatre which describing the ceremony of king Dinh Tien Hoang, flag worshipping ceremony of king Quang Trung on Dinh Mountain before his battle.


Given the advantage of a large pagoda complex, Bai Dinh Pagoda Festival is a large festival attracting a lot of visitor. With a number of historical references associated with the kings Dinh Tien Hoang, Quang Trung, Le Thanh Tong and the ritual ò worshipping St. Nguyen, Cao Son God, Ba Chua Thuong Ngan, Bai Dinh Temple Festival expresses both natural cult and the belief ò Buddhist, Dao Mau and Confusion.