The function was organized by the Ho Chi Minh City Union of Friendship Organizations (HUFO) and the municipal chapter of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha, attracting representatives of the consulate generals of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand, and the countries’ expatriates in Ho Chi Minh City. 

Participants performing a traditional ritual of the New Year festival at the ceremony

Sending New Year greetings to the Cambodian, Lao, Myanmar, and Thai peoples, HUFO Chairman Huynh Minh Thien said together with Vietnamese, the people have fought for national independence, promoted national development, and striven for an ASEAN Community of peace, stability, cooperation and prosperity. 

The celebration was held with a view to helping local people gain an insight into the four nations’ traditional festival, thus fostering Vietnam’s friendship with the neighboring countries, he noted.

On behalf of the countries’ consulates, Lao Consul General Somxay Sanam Oune highly valued the organization of the ceremony, considering it as a demonstration of local people’s sentiments towards their regional peers. 

At the event, typical New Year customs of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand were reenacted such as bathing the Buddha statue, tying a thread on the wrist, and splashing water. 

The ceremony also featured songs and dances performed by the countries’ students in Ho Chi Minh City, along with other activities to introduce their traditional culture and cuisine. 

As part of the event, a week-long photo exhibition will be held to popularize cultural identities, traditional rituals and New Year festivities of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand. 

The countries’ traditional New Year festival takes place from around April 14 to 16. It is known as Choul Chnam Thmey in Cambodia, Boun Pi Mai in Laos, Thingyan in Myanmar, and Songkran in Thailand. 

It is one of their biggest traditional festivals held in the transition from the dry to the wet season, an occasion for people to visit pagodas and have festivities to pray for luck and happiness.

Source: VNA