Church leaders in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City visited Buddhists during Vesak, a Buddhist celebration, to boost ties between the two communities. Cardinal Peter Nguyen Van Nhon of Hanoi and two priests offered a large bouquet to Most Venerable Thich Thanh Nhieu and other Buddhist officials at Quan Su Temple, headquarters of the Buddhist Shangha of Vietnam, in Hanoi on May 8. The visit marked Vesak, the annual celebration of the Buddha's birth, enlightenment and death which was celebrated in Vietnam on May 10. During the meeting, Cardinal Nhon said Catholics and Buddhists "stand in solidarity and friendship and work together to bring peace and contentment to the nation," a Buddhist-run newspaper, reported
. Most Venerable Nhieu said he hoped that both sides maintained their good relationship and traditions. On the same day, a delegation led by Auxiliary Bishop Jospeh Do Manh Hung of Ho Chi Minh City visited Most Venerable Thich Tri Quang, vice head of the Buddhist Shangha of Vietnam in Ho Chi Minh City. "On this special occasion, we come to one another to strengthen our close friendship," Bishop Hung said. Most Venerable Quang was similarly pleased. "Although we have different faiths, we share the same aim of loving and serving all people," he said. Bishop Hung gave out copies of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue’s Vesak message to Buddhists on Vesak festival. Buddhism and Catholicism are the largest religious groups in Vietnam. Their followers cooperate in caring for people with HIV/AIDS, providing food to people in poor communities and promoting harmony and peace among communities.