On this day, Lien Tam Monastery is open for visitor and offer huge free buffets
Ullambana (Vietnamese Vu Lan) - is one of the most important festivals of Buddhism, expressing gratitude to parents, sacrificing food to dead spirits and hungry ghosts. The Ullambana Festival is celebrated annually on the fifteenth day of the seventh month of the lunar calendar.
The word Ullambana consists of two Sanskrit words, "ullam" means to hang upside down and the word "bana" means to save. The meaning of the word of Ullambana is therefore: salvation from being hung upside down or from suffering.
On the morning of Ullambana, tray with a variety of dishes is placed on the altar of the ancestors. The altar also has incense that invites spirits to come celebrate and get delicious food. The tradition originated according to Maudgalyayana (Muc Kien Lien), one of the Buddha's closest disciples. Maudgalyayana seek for help of the Buddha to save his mother, who was in a world of hungry ghosts. The Buddha told him about giving sacrifices to the sangha and then the food sacrifices pass to his mother and other ghosts. Maudgalyayana sincerely followed the instructions of his master, at which point his mother was saved.
Many monasteries hold a "rose in shirt" ceremony for visitors to the temple during Vu Lan. Visitors use a red or white rose. Red rose is used for living mothers and white for the dead. The rose has become a symbol of the connection between love and community. In addition to prayers, Vietnamese also express gratitude by offering their ancestors fruit, sticky rice cakes, and snacks at the altar. At night, many Vietnamese hold a ceremony in which they light lanterns in memory of the deceased and the fulfillment of their wishes.