Established in 1933 the Cao Dai Temple is a Vietnamese religious monument that is situated 60 miles northwest of Ho Chin Minh City just outside Tay Nihn. The practice of Cao Dai incorporates aspects of Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism. Built in a unique architectural style that suggests a blend of traditions, the temple was completed in the year 1955. The Cao Dai adherents were effective in Vietnamese politics after the war. Although many changes took place thereafter Cao Dai as a religion was legalized in 1985.
By the early 90s Cao Dai was practiced by two million adherents around the world in countries such as, Cambodia, France, United states and Vietnam. In addition to this main temple, there are around 1000 Cao Dai temples around Vietnam. These temples closely resemble Christian cathedrals. The structure comprises of two towers, a nave with an upper gallery and side aisles just as a typical church the altar and ambulatory will be at the opposite end of the entrance.
This Cao Dai temple is extravagantly decorated in abstract designs and beautiful images of saints. The celling has pictures of blue skies, and fluffy clouds. Representing the 28 manifestations of Buddha, the dragon columns run the length of the nave. There are also noticeably three main colours representing different religions. Yellow for Buddhism, red for Christianity and blue for Taoism. The temple has 4 chanting ceremonies a day at 6 in the morning, noon, 6 in the evening and midnight. The hymns sung here sound western , however the music is traditional Vietnamese. Although visitors are allowed inside the premises, they are required to be decently dressed, take their footwear off before entering the premises and remain quietly when ceremonies are taking place.
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