Hang Thuan ceremony is a distinctive culture and special event that brings couples great blessings. It makes the connection between Buddhism and life closer, thanks to the versatile application of the Buddha’s teachings.
The history of Hang Thuan ceremony in Vietnam
In Vietnam, Hang Thuan ceremony dates back to 1930. It originated from the family of a lay Buddhist, Tam Minh, also known as Doctor Le Dinh Tham. His family held their first daughter’s wedding ceremony at Tu Dam Pagoda in Hue province, Vietnam. This is the first to be held at a pagoda in the history of Vietnamese Buddhism.
In 1971, Venerable Thich Thien Hoa officially named the wedding ceremony held at the pagoda as Hang Thuan ceremony. “Hang Thuan” means “in forever harmony”.
The meaning of Hang Thuan ceremony
In Vietnamese, “Hang” is forever, and “Thuan” is harmony, love and sympathy. Hang Thuan is a ceremony held at a pagoda under the witness of the Three Jewels and in the presence of relatives of the couples.
At a typical Hang Thuan ceremony, the couples perform traditional rituals according to Buddhism such as paying homage to the Three Jewels, showing gratitude to their parents through practical actions, vowing to be faithful partners to each other and lay Buddhists who diligently practise and support the Buddha Dharma.
Hang Thuan ceremony at Ba Vang Pagoda
Among pagodas in Northern Vietnam, Ba Vang Pagoda is one of the first to celebrate Hang Thuan ceremony. At the ceremony, the couples have the opportunity to listen to Thay Thich Truc Thai Minh, the Abbot of Ba Vang Pagoda, preaching the Buddha’s teachings excerpted from Sigalovada Sutra.
Precious teachings of the Buddha for the husband
More than 2600 years ago, the Buddha preached those precious words to teach a husband his duties. His teachings are superior to those of any psychologists of modern society.
“In five ways, young householder, should a wife as the West be ministered to by a husband:
“(i) by being courteous to her,
(ii) by not despising her,
(iii) by being faithful to her,
(iv) by handing over authority to her,
(v) by providing her with adornments.”
Precious teachings of the Buddha for the wife
For the bride, she will know how to become a good wife by obeying such wise teachings:
“The wife thus ministered to as the West by her husband shows her compassion to her husband in five ways:
(i) she performs her duties well,
(ii) she is hospitable to relations and attendants
(iii) she is faithful,
(iv) she protects what he brings,
(v) she is skilled and industrious in discharging her duties.”
Those precious and wise words will guide the couples through challenges and hardships of married life ahead.
Filial piety highly appreciated at Hang Thuan ceremony
Especially, the virtue of filial piety is highly appreciated and mentioned a lot at Hang Thuan ceremony at the Pagoda. The groom and the bride will pay homage to their parents and listen to the teachings on the great merit and sacrifice of their parents.
According to the teachings of Thay Thich Truc Thai Minh, only when the husband and wife get along well with each other, parents and children live together in harmony can the family’s morality be maintained and future generations’ education be easier. So, young couples need to carefully prepare the knowledge necessary for the future. One of the best ways is to take refuge in the Three Jewels and to observe the five precepts. They are the basic morals of being human. Anyone observing these five precepts will have peace in this life and in future ones. Every member of the family needs to constantly cultivate the knowledge of Buddha Dharma, stay inclined to the good and believe in the law of cause and effect. That will help ensure a happy and moral married life.
Those who have this special ceremony held at the pagoda are much blessed. Hang Thuan ceremony is really a milestone from which the couples can obtain a lot of peace and happiness in their life.