Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The Cao Dai Holy See at Tay Ninh

What is this building?

It is the Holy See, the Vatican, of the Cao Dai religion.

What is the Cao Dai religion?

Rather than writing about the Cao Dai from a position of little knowledge, I found that someone else has done a very good job: article about the Cao Dai faith. Take a look if you'd like to find out more about this religion that incorporates all of the world's major faiths (from Confuscianism to Islam) and recognises Victor Hugo and Descartes amongst their principal saints.

It also explains a lot of what you will see in the pictures below, pictures that I have mainly chosen for their aesthetic value, infidel that I am. There is also a good wikipedia article on Cao Daism.

The cathedral is as lavishly decorated inside as it is outside. Notice the all-seeing eye covering the large globe near the main altar in the first picture.

Female and male worshippers are separated, women on the left and men on the right of the axis that runs through the main entrance at the back of the cathedral and the all-seeing eye at the front.

Different colours symbolise different faiths (the article goes into more detail) but basically yellow is for buddhism, blue for taoism and red for confuscianism.

The faithful pray inside the cathedral. The Cao Dai faithful pray four times a day - at 6am, 6pm, midnight and noon.


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