Hoa Hao Buddhists set off on pilgrimage

Nhan Dan, July 3, 2007

Hanoi, Vietnam -- More than 400,000 Hoa Hao Buddhist followers embarked on a pilgrimage to the Mekong delta province of An Giang in order to celebrate the Sect’s 68th founding anniversary falling on May 18 of lunar calendar (July 2), reported the Vietnam News Agency from An Giang province.

This year’s anniversary was the sixth grand celebration to be held in Phu My town in the province's Phu Tan district that earlier saw a delegation of An Giang provincial authorities mark the occasion by visiting and presenting gifts to Hoa Hao dignitaries and followers.

The day was also celebrated at more than 250 places of worship nationwide.

The Hoa Hao Buddhist Sect was founded by Venerable Prophet Huynh in 1939 and has since expanded to 15 provinces and cities from central Phu Yen province southwards.

The school has more than 2 million followers, including over 800,000 in An Giang province alone.

The Hoa Hao Buddhist followers have contributed over VND 72 billion (US $4.5 million) to build more than 3,490 houses for the poor and disadvantaged, 337 bridges and 326 km of rural road, and to make other charitable activities.