Thousands queue for blessings in calligraphy at Vietnam's first university
It's long been a tradition among Hanoians to visit the Temple of Literature to have meaningful words written for them in calligraphy asking for good luck for the year ahead.
People stand in a queue spanning a few hundred meters to get blessings in calligraphy on red or yellow do paper priced at VND80,000 ($3.53) per sheet.
Calligraphers have no time to rest their hands on this busy day due to the huge number of customers.
Van Anh, a student, proudly shows her blessing after hours of waiting. She asked for the traditional script which means “Pass” (do dat), wishing that she, in the new year, will pass the entry exam to the university of her choice.
At 4 p.m. on Friday, long lines of people still patiently wait to buy calligraphy blessings.
Khanh Chi and Minh Thu, 9th graders from Trung Vuong school, asked for “pass” to be written in calligraphy, wishing for academic success as they will seat the high school entrance exam this summer.
Those too busy to queue for custom made calligraphy can buy ready-made ones at gift shops.
Many customers opt for lucky charms as presents for relatives.
Racquel Ocana from Spain shows the charms she’s got, which represent her wishes for the new year: health, longevity and happiness.
Many people also light incense at the shrine of former teacher Chu Van An, a high ranking mandarin of the Tran Dynasty in Vietnam, in the Temple of Literature, Vietnam's first university built in 1070.