ASEAN representatives discuss water festivals

April 15, 2023 - 08:44

Representatives from the embassies of Thailand, Laos and Myanmar in Việt Nam shared the beautiful culture of the Water Festivals in ASEAN countries at a meeting in Hà Nội on 14 April.


Delegates talked about the Water Festivals in ASEAN countries. — Photo the organiser

HÀ NỘI — Representatives from the embassies of Thailand, Laos and Myanmar in Việt Nam shared the beautiful culture of Water Festivals in ASEAN countries at a meeting in Hà Nội on 14 April.

Water Festivals in ASEAN take place from April 13 to 16 yearly, marking the end of the year and welcoming a new beginning. Despite the difference in names, the Water Festivals of these countries have many similarities, with people splashing and sprinkling water on each other as a way to wish for a lucky and happy new year.

At the event, Director General of the Department of International Cooperation of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyễn Phương Hoa shared his best wishes to the people of Thailand, Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia on the occasion of the New Year.

“Water Festivals are a pride of ASEAN culture. The countries in our region all have such diverse and colourful cultures. Also, culture is an important pillar that helps ASEAN come together as one under a multicultural and multiethnic roof with a common vision,” Hoa said.

Deputy Director General of the ASEAN Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Phan Minh Giang, said that Việt Nam, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand are close neighbours, developing together and building a peaceful, stable, collaborative and growing ASEAN community.

“The cultural festivals of ASEAN, including the Water Festivals of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand, are a unique beauty of the ASEAN community. Culture becomes the linking bridge amongst ASEAN in diversity, unity and solidarity,” said Giang.

At the event, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Thailand to Việt Nam Nikorndej Balankura shared that the Songkran Water Festival was an important tradition for Thais, taking place on April 13 to 15 yearly. The meaning of Songkran lies in the hope to wash away the sadness of the previous year, together aiming for a positive new year, with luck for oneself, family and everyone. Songkran is also an occasion to show respect, love and gratefulness.

The Ambassador also said that this year, the Royal Thai Embassy has collaborated with the Diplomatic Academy of Việt Nam to host an event “Songkran in Hà Nội” and other activities in HCM City to celebrate Songkran.

For Laotians, the traditional Water Festival Boun Pimai is most vibrant during the third day of the New Year. Before splashing water, people usually give each other their best wishes. Laotian people believe that water helps to wash away bad things and illness and brings a new year of luck and health.

At the event, Chanthaphone Khammanichanh, Counsellor and Deputy Chief of Mission of the Laos PDR to Việt Nam, shared that the leaders of the Party and the State of Việt Nam really cared about the traditional Boun Pimai New Year of Laotian people. The celebration of this year’s Boun Pimai was hosted by the Embassy of the Laos PDR in Việt Nam on April 11 in Hà Nội and received participation from the senior leaders. This year, several universities in Việt Nam which have Laotian students hosted celebrations for Boun Pimai and were joined by representatives from the embassy.

Joining the discussion, the Second Secretary of the Embassy of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar to Việt Nam San San Yin talked about the Thingyan Water Festival – the most important festival of the Burmese. Thingyan this year was from April 14-16 and the Burmese New Year will start on April 17. During this time, Burmese joyfully carry out water-splashing activities to wish for a great and prosperous new year.

The meeting was organised by C asean Vietnam, a not-for-profit organisation under Thai Beverage Public Company Limited (ThaiBev), to promote the amazing cultures of the ASEAN countries as well as to enhance close collaboration within the region. — VNS