Celebration of The Holy Mother Goddess Grand Festival Year 2020
According to tradition since the establishment of Dai Dao Tam Ky Pho Do, every year on the full moon day of the eighth lunar calendar, all Cao Dai adepts gather at the Holy See to celebrate the Great Festival Commemorating the Holy Mother Goddess and Her 9 Muses (called “Hoi Yen Dieu Tri Cung”). This is an opportunity for all children to show their infinite filial piety and faith to the Holy Mother Goddess, which is also the day where the Holy Mother Goddesss came down to Earth to give Her divine blessings to all sentient beings.
This year, in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic that has been controlled in the area of Tay Ninh province in particular and in all other localities across the country in general, the Cao Dai Church celebrated its 95th Festival successfully and very solemn. The Ceremony program is somewhat limited in size and quantity in order to join hands with the Vietnamese people to prevent the Covid-19 pandemic.
Since the beginning of August of this year, the entire Holy Land has been bustling with preparation to welcome the coming of the Great Festival. Around the campus of Bao An Tu, place of the Holy Mother Goddess Temple, workers built a huge Welcoming gate, two long rows for exhibition booths and a grandstand for the ceremony in front of the temple courtyard. According to this year's program, a total of 74 display booths, each with 2.5 meters in width and 4 meters in length, are arranged for the use of the Cao Dai Congregations in Tay Ninh province to display their offerings, which are mostly fruits, cakes and flowers. This year, the Congregations in other provinces in the country and Overseas were not allowed to attend due to the limitations of the Covid-19 pandemic.
On the full moon day of August of the year Canh Ty (October 1/2020), at 00 hour, the celebration stared with a Holy Mass in the Holy Great Temple with the attendance of dignitaries, sub-dignitaries and adepts, estimated at around 15,000 people. After the worshiping ceremony, His Eminence Cardinal Thuong Tam Thanh, Chairman of the Cao Dai Sacerdotal Council, gave a brief sermon to the participants.
From midnight to the morning of the full moon day, members of the Congregations at the Holy Mother Goddess Temple were bustling to complete the final preparation for the display of fruits and flowers for the festival. In the main altar hall, workers were ready to finish all the decorations at the Divine Banquet Table.
At 12:00 noon, Cao Dai dignitaries and adepts celebrated a Holy Mass at the Holy Mother Goddess Temple. The number of people worshiping is estimated at 7 thousand people.
At 4:00 pm of the same day, at the Pope’s Office of the Holy See, Cardinal Thuong Tam Thanh and dignitaries of the Cao Dai Sacerdotal Council welcomed officials and guests from the Central Government, Tay Ninh province government, city and districts in Tay Ninh province, who came and brought 17 wreaths and 03 bouquets of fresh flowers to celebrate the Holy Mother Goddess Festival of 2020.
At 16:30, His Eminence Cardinal Thuong Tam Thanh guided all the guests to Bao An Tu, reviewed the 74 exhibition booths of fruits, cakes and flowers, visited the Holy Banquet Table and gave explanation about the history and meaning of the Festival.
After that, the Grand Opening Ceremony of the Great Festival Commemorating the Holy Mother Goddess (called Hoi Yen Dieu Tri Cung) in lunar Canh Ty Year - 2020 was solemnly celebrated in front of Holy Mother Goddess Temple courtyard. After the introduction of officials and guests, His Eminence Cardinal Thuong Tam Thanh delivered the Opening Speech.Mr. Nguyen Manh Hung, Standing Vice-Chairman of Tay Ninh Provincial People's Committee, delivered a meaningful congratulatory speech. All of the fellow believers present at the ceremony joined a warm applause.
At 6:45 p.m., Cardinal Thuong Tam Thanh invited all the officials and guests to come to the grandstand erected in front of the Great Holy Temple to watch the official parade.
At 7:00 p.m., the drum rose up urging the Parade procession to start, led by the Cao Dai flag, the Dragon-Horse, followed by the group of drums, the ethnic musical group, the 4 spirit animals (dragon, unicorn, tortoise and phoenix) and finally the main float of the Holy Mother Goddess and Her 9 Muses.This year, thanks to the fact that it did not rain, the parade received a big applause from the cheering, admiring praise of the guests and the crowd of believers and non-believers which were estimated at over 100,000 people.
At 9:30 p.m., the main Holy Mass of the Festival started at the Holy Mother Goddess Temple and lasted about 2 hours. Around 30,000 people attended the Mass, inside and outside the temple.
At 2:00 am on the next day (Oct. 2, 2020), the Closing ceremony of the Holy Mother Goddess Festival was declared by His Excellency Archbishop Ngoc Thuong Thanh, Deputy Chief of the Organizing Committee.
Please click this link to see the photos of this year's “Hoi Yen Dieu Tri Cung” Festival. (Please scroll down after text to see photos).
Pictures taken by Rev. Thuong Em Thanh and Caodai TV team: Huu Loi - Hong Nhan - Minh Triet. Report by Thanh Thuy.