For Cao Dai followers in the southern province of Tay Ninh and neighboring localities, “Hoi Yen Dieu Tri Cung” is their biggest festival in the year to pray for good weather, national peace, and prosperity.
This is an important religious banquet for the Great Mother and nine female immortals of the Dieu Tri Palace (Jasper Pond Palace). Cao Dai followers believe the banquet enables them to achieve their goal of liberating themselves from the cycle of birth and death.
“Hoi Yen Dieu Tri Cung” (held on the 14th-15th day of the 8th lunar month) originated in an event in 1925 when Cao Quynh Cu, Pham Cong Tac and Cao Hoai Sang, through spirit communications, contact many spirit entities. First, they get messages from their deceased relatives, then the Goddesses, and eventually God. Instructed by God, they have a vegetarian meal to entertain Great Mother and the Nine Goddesses. At present, a great annual religious ceremony is held to commemorate it.
The ceremony is held in the Temple of Acknowledgment, which is temporarily used as the Temple of Great Mother. There are many religious activities on this occasion in Tay Ninh Holy See.
There is a procession of carriages decorated with flowers, traditional lion dances and Caodaiists in the area of the Holy See. This is also a festival for women with vegetarian cooking competitions. Children, too, attend a lantern competition and receive moon cakes, for this day coincides with the Mid-Autumn Festival. The service to worship Great Mother and the Nine Goddesses takes place at midnight.
“Hoi Yen Dieu Tri Cung” in photos:
The ceremony is held in the Temple of Acknowledgment.
Hoi An Ancient Town is home to plenty of historic and cultural relics including places in association with faith and religions. For this reason, the ancient town has been a venue for spiritual tourism.