Tay Ninh is the holy site of Caodaism, probably Vietnam's most curious indigenous religion. Caodaism, founded in 1926 by Ngo Minh Chieu, is an attempt at an ideal religion, using religious and philosophical traditions from the West and the East, including Buddhism, Confusianism, Taoism, Hinduism, native Vietnamese spiritism, Christianity and Islam. The eclectism of the religion is reflected in the Great Temple in Tay Ninh. Built between 1933 and 1955, it combines architectural elements of a church, a pagoda in an extravagant rocco style. The ceremony at the Great Cao Dai temple has a visually beautiful ritual, with the ordinary clergy in white robes and only the high priests wearing color. Traditional music is sung and played as well. The ceremony takes place four times a day, noon beeing the most convenient for visitors, who are admitted on upstairs balconies.
[CLICK on any picture to see a larger image and details, to add to selection, to order, and to download wallpaper.]