Buddhism in Vietnam as practiced by the ethnic Vietnamese is mainly of the Mahāyāna tradition. Buddhism may have first come to Vietnam as early as the 3rd or 2nd century BC from South Asia, or from China in the 1st or 2nd century AD. Vietnamese Buddhism has had a symbiotic relationship with Taoism, Chinese spirituality, and the indigenous Vietnamese religion.
Buddha sits within a lotus flower; the lotus flower symbolizes in Vietnam Buddhist detachment; the way that water slides off lotus petals represents the detachment aspect of their faith, which tells them to let go of lusts, cravings and desires. This is one of the reasons why many statues and images show Buddha sitting on a lotus.