Celebration of Traditional New Year Festivals from Various Asian Nations in Hanoi

Friends from around the world are looking forward to joining in the festivities as the traditional New Year of some Asian countries is celebrated in Hanoi.

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Traditional New Year Festivals of Several Asian Countries Celebrated in Hanoi
Ambassador of Lao in Vietnam Sengphet Houngboungnuang lights a candle on the top of the Khoan tray, one of the rituals of the Bunpimay festival of the people of Laos. Photo: Tuan Viet

The Hanoi Union of Friendship Organizations (HAUFO) organized a friendship exchange program in Hanoi on the evening of April 21 to celebrate the traditional New Year of seven countries: India, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Sri Lanka. With the coordination of respective embassies, the program served to foster and deepen connections between the countries.

Attending the program were nearly 200 delegates, comprised of leaders from HAUFO and various departments, divisions, branches, and mass organizations from Hanoi, as well as representatives from the Central and Hanoi’s Friendship Associations with India, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Sri Lanka. Additionally, ambassadors, embassy representatives, members of the business community, and international students were also present.

The delegates partook in traditional rituals from various countries, including the Buddha bathing ceremony, the water splashing for good luck ritual, the wrist thread tying ceremony, and the Holi festival.

The Friendship Exchange Program has brought a vibrant atmosphere of the traditional New Year to the officials, students, and people of India, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Sri Lanka who are residing and working in Vietnam. This program has also enabled the people of Hanoi to gain a better understanding of the traditional cultures of these neighboring countries.

Traditional New Year Festivals of Several Asian Countries Celebrated in Hanoi
HAUFO Chairman Nguyen Ngoc Ky spoke at the ceremony. Photo: Tuan Viet

On behalf of the leaders and citizens of HAUFO, Chairman Nguyen Ngoc Ky extends his warmest wishes to all international friends for a prosperous and joyous new year.

He hoped that the peace and friendship activities organized by HAUFO would make a positive contribution to deepening mutual understanding and strengthening the bonds of solidarity between the people of Vietnam, the inhabitants of Hanoi, and citizens of other nations, as well as those from other Asian countries.

“I am confident that Hanoi will be a warm, welcoming home to international friends,” declared Nguyen Ngoc Ky, Chairman of the Hanoi Association of Friendship Organizations (HAUFO). With open arms, the city will always welcome visitors from afar.

On behalf of international friends, the Ambassador of Laos to Vietnam, Sengphet Houngboungnuang, expressed his gratitude to HAUFO for organizing such a meaningful event.

He was delighted to observe that over the past few years, the friendly ties and cooperation between Hanoi and HAUFO on one hand, and the diplomatic corps on the other, have been constantly strengthened and deepened.

On this special occasion, Ambassador Houngboungnuang shared with the delegates the significance of the traditional Bunpimay festival of Laos. This festival is celebrated with the intention of dispelling bad things and wishing one another a happy new year, as well as peace and prosperity for each country.

Traditional New Year Festivals of Several Asian Countries Celebrated in Hanoi
Participants in the ceremony bathe the Buddha statue, a ritual of the traditional New Year festival of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand. Photo: Tuan Viet

Sharing with Thoi Dai (Vietnam Times) Magazine, 20-year-old Chav Channy from Cambodia said, “Celebrating Chol Chnam Thmay in Hanoi fills me with a sense of living in the traditional New Year’s Day atmosphere of my homeland. I’m extremely excited to sing and dance the country’s songs, and introduce the culture and customs of Cambodia to the delegates and friends.”

As for Latsamy, a 17-year-old Laotian student studying at Friendship School 80, this is his first time celebrating Tet away from home. Despite the distance from his hometown, he’s still able to celebrate the Bunpimay traditional New Year of the nation in Hanoi. He sees this as a chance to explore the customs of other cultures and broaden his connections with people from other countries. “Although I can’t return to my hometown to celebrate the traditional New Year with my family and relatives, in return I can still celebrate the Bunpimay traditional New Year of the nation in Hanoi, where I am studying. I feel like this is also an opportunity for me to discover the traditional New Year customs of other countries and expand relationships with friends from other countries,” Latsamy shared.

On April 14th, the traditional New Year festivals of Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Myanmar – Bunpimay, Songkran, Chol Chhnam Thmay, and Thingyang – were celebrated at a ceremony held at Pho Minh Pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City.

The joint event was organized by the Ho Chi Minh City Union of Friendship Organizations (HUFO) and the International Department of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha’s Chapter in the city.

Hannah Nguyen