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Saigon pagodas adopt COVID-19 safety measures for Vu Lan festival

Thursday, September 03, 2020, 15:07 GMT+7
Saigon pagodas adopt COVID-19 safety measures for Vu Lan festival
People pray while wearing face masks amid the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak on Vu Lan Festival at Vinh Nghiem Pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, September 2, 2020. Photo: Nhat Thinh / Tuoi Tre

COVID-19 prevention and control measures were in place at pagodas in Ho Chi Minh City as droves of worshippers observed a Buddhist festival on Wednesday.

Vu Lan, a festival honoring deceased ancestors and filial piety, is observed by Buddhist followers every year on the 15th day of the seventh lunar month, which fell on Wednesday this year.

It is an occasion for many Vietnamese to make offerings to their ancestors and pay homage to their parents by visiting pagodas on this day.

This year, due to the risks of infection amid the ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks in Vietnam, worshippers were asked to conform to disease prevention regulations when visiting pagodas in Ho Chi Minh City, according to the observations of Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reporters.

People line up at a hand sanitizer dispenser before entering Viet Nam Quoc Tu Pagoda amid the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak on Vu Lan Festival in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, September 2, 2020. Photo: Nhat Thinh / Tuoi Tre

People line up at a hand sanitizer dispenser before entering Viet Nam Quoc Tu Pagoda amid the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak on Vu Lan Festival in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, September 2, 2020. Photo: Nhat Thinh / Tuoi Tre

“In previous years, my whole family would go to the pagoda very early [on Vu Lan day], eat vegetarian food and take part in the ceremonies,” said Ngoc Thom, a resident in Thu Duc District, Ho Chi Minh City.

“This year, since the festival occurs amid the ongoing pandemic, we are concerned about lingering at crowded places so we’re just dropping by for a quick visit before heading home."

A number of pagodas throughout Ho Chi Minh City such as Vinh Nghiem in District 3 or Viet Nam Quoc Tu in District 10 were equipped with hand sanitizer dispensers and body temperature monitoring devices.

Most visitors to these pagodas conformed to the disease prevention measures while some were spotted without a face mask on despite it being mandatory in public places.

Visitors are handed free face masks when entering Viet Nam Quoc Tu Pagoda amid the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak on Vu Lan Festival in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, September 2, 2020. Photo: Nhat Thinh / Tuoi Tre

Visitors are handed free face masks when entering Viet Nam Quoc Tu Pagoda amid the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak on Vu Lan Festival in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, September 2, 2020. Photo: Nhat Thinh / Tuoi Tre

People have their body temperature checked before entering Viet Nam Quoc Tu Pagoda amid the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak on Vu Lan Festival in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, September 2, 2020. Photo: Nhat Thinh / Tuoi Tre

People have their body temperature checked before entering Viet Nam Quoc Tu Pagoda amid the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak on Vu Lan Festival in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, September 2, 2020. Photo: Nhat Thinh / Tuoi Tre

People line up at a hand sanitizer dispenser at Viet Nam Quoc Tu Pagoda amid the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak on Vu Lan Festival in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, September 2, 2020. Photo: Nhat Thinh / Tuoi Tre

People line up at a hand sanitizer dispenser at Viet Nam Quoc Tu Pagoda amid the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak on Vu Lan Festival in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, September 2, 2020. Photo: Nhat Thinh / Tuoi Tre

People pray while wearing face masks amid the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak on Vu Lan Festival at Vinh Nghiem Pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, September 2, 2020. Photo: Nhat Thinh / Tuoi Tre

People pray while wearing face masks amid the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak on Vu Lan Festival at Vinh Nghiem Pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, September 2, 2020. Photo: Nhat Thinh / Tuoi Tre

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