Long before the one-hour ceremony began at 7:00 pm, crowds had already choked areas closest to the Pagoda on Tay Son Street, forcing many to make their prayers from overpasses and roadways blocks away.
Dang Hong Yen, 68, of Kham Thien Street, Hanoi, said she attended the prayer ceremony every year to make her wish for peace for the country and her family on the 14th day of the Lunar New Year.
Crowds wishing for peace and luck in the lunar new year
Police and security forces were mobilized to untangle traffic jams on roads leading to and away from the Pagoda.
A young woman standing on Nga Tu So Overpass, looking towards Phuc Khanh Pagoda
Many people who came late had to make their prayers far from the Pagoda
The prayer ceremony ends at 8:00 p.m