Supermarkets and wet markets are now busy as the Vu Lan festival is only three days away.
The festival, dedicated to both parents who are living and those who passed away, will fall on August 30 or the 15th day of the 7th lunar month.
In traditional markets in Hanoi, prices of fruits, flowers and food have increased slightly by 5-10% from the usual days. Vegetarian food offerings are becoming a trend for many families during this time.
The votive paper market has also entered its busiest period of the year.
Vu Thi Vui, a small business owner selling various types of ritual items at Mo market, said eco-friendly incenses, candles and other products are more favoured.
Amid economic downturn, the number of customers has increased but their level of spending decreased, she added.
The festival is based on the legend of Maudgalyayana (known as Muc Kien Lien in Vietnam), a chief disciple of Sakyamuni Buddha, who was unable to alleviate the suffering of his mother in the realm of hungry ghosts.
He was told that the only way to deliver his mother from the pains of suffering is to rely upon the strength of monastics of all directions in their cultivation of meritorious virtues.
The merits could liberate the deceased from the three suffering realms and allow them to enjoy a life of abundance, good fortune and longevity.
Therefore, by observing the practice, all Buddhists can deliver their parents from the miseries of the three suffering realms.
From this, many Buddhist countries have developed their own custom of offering food, clothing, and other items to hungry spirits in the seventh lunar month.
This festival has been widely celebrated in Vietnam to express respect, love and honour towards parents./.
Source: Vietnam News Agency