THE 90TH GREAT FESTIVAL COMMEMORATING THE HOLY MOTHER GODDESS ( YEAR 2015) AT TAY NINH CAO DAI HOLY SEE
Updated 2015-10-13 05:33:01
(Reported from Tay Ninh Cao Dai Holy See on 27 September 2015 by Principal Archbishop Thai Con Thanh. Pictures taken by Nguyen Tri Luc, Ha The Bao, Le Quoc Cuong and Nguyen Minh Kham. Translated into English by Tuan Em & Thuy Trang)
At 9:00 a.m on 15th August, Lunar Year of the Goat (27/09/2015), His Eminence Cardinal Thuong Tam Thanh – Chairman of the Cao Dai Sacerdotal Council, Dignitaries members of the Council, Dignitaries from the nine Cao Đai Religion’s Ministries and thousand dignitaries and followers from nearby parishes gathered at the Peace Gate to welcome delegations from Japanese Oomoto (51 delegates led by Her Holiness Madame Kurenai Deguchi, Spiritual Leader of Oomoto), from Taiwanese and Malaysian Tao Yuan (31 delegates led by His Excellency Chen Chao Cheng and Lee Tuck Hing).
His Eminence Cardinal Thuong Tam Thanh then guided the delegations to visit the interior of the Cao Dai Cathedral and to see how Cao Dai venerates God and Holy Divinities . He also explained the meanings of different symbols and figures, as well as religious rites and rituals of the religion. Then, in the Meditation Hall, Representatives of the 3 delegations wrote their feelings and comments in the Cao Dai Visitor’s Golden Book and had a group photo taken in front of the Holy See before heading to the auditorium for the welcoming reception.
In the auditorium, on behalf of the Cao Dai Sacerdotal Council, His Eminence Cardinal delivered a welcome address and presented souvenir gifts to Her Holiness Spiritual Leader of Oomoto, to the Head of the Tao Yuan Taiwan and Malaysia and to every member of the foreign delegations.
Her Holiness Madame Kurenai Deguchi, Spiritual Leader of Oomoto, then made a brief address recalling the tight relationship between Oomoto and Cao Dai for the past 80 years. She emphasized that the two religions’ doctrine were both formed through spiritist messages and are quite identical. She expressed her wish that the two religions will continue to strengthen the relationship and shoulder to spread the truth and save humanity from sufferings. She presented to His Eminence Cardinal a special gift and financial donation from her Japanese delegation members. She also presented gifts to the three highest members of the Cao Dai Sacerdotal Council.
Then, His Excellency Chen Chao Cheng , Chief Tao Yuan Taiwan, made a short speech recalling the Oomoto’s introduction to Cao Dai and expressed his pleasure to attend this Great Festival and to get such a warm reception. His Excellency also emphasized the significantly common characteristics and goals between the two religions in saving humanity from sufferings and wished the mutual relationship to be more and more tightened. He then presented to His Eminence Cardinal a calligraphy depicting the great word SINCERE which was given to Cao Dai by the “Divine Buddha Thái Ất Thiên Tôn” through a spiritist séance in Taipei. His Excellency Cheng explained that everything on Earth can become firm and successful only when people are sincere and honest.
His Excellency Lee Tuck Hing from Tao Yuan Malaysia also expressed his gratitude for being invited to the Cao Dai Great Festival. He too presented to His Eminence Cardinal a silver plate as a souvenir gift and an envelope of financial donation by his members.
The welcome reception took place in a friendly and warm atmosphere.
After the welcome reception, His Eminence Cardinal asked Archbishop Ngoc Hong Thanh to lead the delegates back to the Holy See, so that everyone could attend the religious noon service. After the service, the delegates were invited to a vegeterian lunch at the Female Cardinal’s Office Hall.
At 4 p.m on the same day, the Oomoto and Tao Yuan delegations returned to the Cao Đai Holy See to attend the Opening Ceremony of the 90th Great Festival Commemorating the Holy Mother Goddess at her Temple, together with invited government officials and around 800 other distinguished guests.
From the Pope’s Residence, His Eminence Cardinal led everyone to the Temple of the Holy Mother Goddess in the deafening sound of welcoming drums and whistles. He then gave a tour to the 96 exhibition booths displaying fruit and flower offerings which came in different shapes and colours. The exhibition booths amazed the foreign delegates, especially Her Holiness Spiritual Leader of Oomoto, by the magnificent and unique way that fruits and flowers were arranged.
Then, His Eminence Cardinal lead the foreign delegates and invited guests inside the Temple to show and explain the meanings of the Holy Banquet Table settings.
After the Opening speech made by His Eminence Cardinal, Mr. Huynh Van Quang - Vice President of Tay Ninh Province’s People’s Committee, on behalf of all government organisations, delivered a welcome and congratulatory speech on the event of the Great Festival Commemorating the Holy Mother Goddess in this year 2015 (Year of the Goat).
After the opening ceremony, His Eminence Cardinal invited all the guests for a dinner hosted by the Sacerdotal Council at the Female Cardinal’s Office Hall and at the Teaching Hall. Then, all delegates gathered in front of the Holy See Cathedral to watch the religious festival parade.
Leading the parade was a float decorated with flowers and effigies simulating Her Holy Mother Goddess and Her Nine Muses. The parade started from the Male Cardinal’s Office, passing the viewing grandstand in front of the Cathedral of the Holy See. The parade consisted of different performances such as Dragon dance, lion dance, as well as other musical and cultural performances.
Delegation members from Oomoto, Tao Yuan Taiwan, Tao Yuan Malaysia were impressed by the grandiose and magnificence of the parade.
The Great Festival concluded at 10:00pm with a prayer mass held at the Holy Mother Temple with more than twenty thousand Cao Dai followers in attendance.
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