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Perfume Pagoda Festival

appearance of an open dragons mouth

The Perfume Pagoda or Perfume Temple is a vast complex of Buddhist temples and shrines built into the limestone Huong Tich mountains. Is it the site of the religious festival which draws large numbers or pilgrims from across Vietnam.

The center of the Perfume Temple lies in Huong Son Commune, My Duc district in the Hanoi province in Vietnam. The center of this complex is the Perfume Temple, also known as Chua Trong, or Inner Temple, located in Huong Tich Cave.

The mouth of the Huong Tich Cave has the appearance of an open dragon's mouth with Chinese characters carved on the wall. The main pilgrimage season at Chua Huong is during the Perfume Pagoda Festival when hundreds of thousands of pilgrims make their way to Huong Tich cave and other temples for the longest lasting festival in Vietnam. Officially starting on February 15th on the lunar calender, the festival goes all the way until the end opf April. The festival is seen by some as a good opportunity for young people to find romance and begin courtships.

People flock to the Perfume Pagoda festival not only for religious reasons but also to absorb the natural beauty and national artifacts the surround the Pagoda. There are monay legends about Chua Huong and its various pagodas. Huong Tich cave is an especially sacred place because the legend says that Bodhisatva, the Buddhist god of compassion and mercy, went South and stayed at Huong Tich Pagoda in order to help save human souls. A stone at Phat Tich temple is said to be her preserved footprint.

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