ClockWednesday, 14/06/2023 07:50

Spreading the values of Hue lotus

TTH.VN - I happened to come across a Facebook post of a friend currently living in the Central Highlands of Vietnam. It read, “seeing seven blooming pink lotus flowers celebrating Vesak on Nhan Co Lake reminds me so much of my hometown - Hue, where Ngu Mountain and the Perfume River reside.”

Meeting with the woman who makes silk from lotus fibersSeven lotus lanterns launched onto the Huong River to celebrate Buddha's birthdayWhite lotus flowers in early summerHue lotus "shedding perfume"Hue Lotus Festival to take place from June 4 to 5

 Seven lotus lanterns on the Perfume River in Vesak season

Following the post, I learned that in preparations for the auspicious celebration of Vesak in the Buddhist calendar 2567, Phuoc Quang Pagoda, located in Nhan Co commune, Dak R'Lap district, Dak Nong province, launched seven pink lotus lanterns onto Nhan Co Lake. This marks the first appearance of these gigantic lotus flowers in the highland region of Dak Nong, to celebrate Vesak this year.

It reminds me of the year 2008 when the Vietnamese government hosted the United Nations Day of Vesak. The “Seven golden lotus flowers lifting the tranquillizing heel” artwork on the Perfume River was designed to welcome this grand occasion.

The idea for “Seven golden lotus flowers lifting the tranquillizing heel” derives from the story of the Buddha's birth, in which he took seven steps after being born, with each step, a lotus flower bloomed. These seven lotuses symbolise the Buddha's spiritual path to enlightenment and ultimately leading to nirvana.

In 2010, in a meeting of the Buddhist Executive Council Sangha and the Organizing Committee of Vesak ceremony, the seven lotus flowers were decided to be used as the symbol of Vesak in Thua Thien Hue. Since then, the “Seven golden lotus flowers lifting the tranquillizing heel” themed artworks have been annually created for the Vesak season.

It is worth noting that these seven lotus lanterns have not only appeared on the Perfume River in Hue during the Vesak but have also appeared in various places across the country. Whenever people see these seven lotus lanterns appear on the rivers, they understand that Vesak season is coming.

Lotus seed sweet soup, lotus tea, lotus wine, and various other unique and exquisite products made from lotus are all well known. However, recently, I was truly amazed when I witnessed the “largest conical hat made of lotus leaves in Vietnam” by artist Nguyen Thanh Thao, along with the creative handicraft products made from lotus, such as jewellery boxes, decorative lotus leaf vases, lotus lanterns, lotus fans, and lotus leaf paintings.

Six years ago, Nguyen Thanh Thao began researching and exploring new materials in art and their application in souvenir items. She discovered the lotus leaf and succeeded in enhancing its durability to be adorned the outer layer of the Hue conical hat.

Through the skilled hands of Doc So conical hat artisans, the traditional conical hat and lotus leaves are combined to create a unique version - lotus leaf conical hat, that won the “A Prize” at the Thua Thien Hue Province Start-up and Creative Innovation Competition in 2018. Being an artwork from nature, the lotus leaf conical hat - that never found in anywhere else, has become a unique souvenir representing the spirit of Vietnam and Hue to the world.

There are so many creations and profound humanistic tales associated with the lotus, a cultural symbol of the Vietnamese people. Lotus, like ao dai, is not exclusive to Hue. However, with the “Seven golden lotus flowers lifting the tranquillizing heel” on the occasion of Vesak bringing the symbolic meaning of spiritual culture, the lotus leaf conical hat, once again, demonstrates the ability of the people of the Land of Genies to discover, create, and spread the values of lotus.

By Dan Duy
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