Foreign diplomats celebrate Vietnam’s Lunar New Year Festival

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(VOVWORLD) - The Ambassadors of the US and France to Vietnam have shared their experience of celebrating the biggest festival in a year of Vietnamese people – the Lunar New Year or Tet.
Foreign diplomats celebrate Vietnam’s Lunar New Year Festival  - ảnh 1

US Ambassador Daniel Kritenbrink releases carps at Kim Lien pagoda on the Kitchen Gods ceremony, which falls on the 23rd day of the 12th lunar year. (Photo: VNA)

For US Ambassador Daniel Kritenbrink, it is the fourth year he has celebrated Tet in Vietnam. He said Tet is a special time when everyone is happy, when people slow down and spend time with families and friends.

Every year, he participates in Tet activities such as wrapping Chung cake (square glutinous rice cake) and visiting peach blossom gardens and pagodas.

He said Tet of the Year of the Buffalo will be special for him as this year may be the last in his working term as the US Ambassador to Vietnam.

Regarding the US-Vietnam relations, he expressed his delight that the two countries were able to find cooperation opportunities in 2020 amid COVID-19. The US granted over 13 million USD and 100 ventilators to help Vietnam’s fight against the pandemic, while Vietnam offered millions of face masks and medical supplies to the US.

2020 also marked the 25th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties, he stated, adding that collaboration in security, defense, trade, people-to-people exchanges and health has enjoyed progress.

The diplomat said he believes that the US and Vietnam will continue building and deepening mutual trust and respect, promoting trade and people-to-people exchanges, and completing underway cooperation works.

Meanwhile, French Ambassador Nicolas Warnery said that he first had a chance to experience Vietnam’s Tet 15 years ago, when he served as French Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City.

Vietnamese Tet is similar to France’s year-end holidays, particularly Christmas Day, as they are an opportunity for family gathering, he said.

The diplomat noted he plans to get up early on the first day of the Year of the Buffalo and walk around to enjoy the deserted streets, and visit Ngoc Son Temple in downtown Hanoi.

The Ambassador spoke highly of Vietnam’s role as ASEAN Chair and a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in 2020 in the context of the pandemic.

Believing the pandemic will be put under control in 2021, he hopes the two countries will coordinate with each other to further develop bilateral relations in all fields, including economics, culture and health.

He expressed his wish to bolster the France-Vietnam strategic partnership, tighten political ties, speed up projects in health, culture, higher education, climate change response and environmental protection.

Robin Bednall, First Secretary in charge of economic and development cooperation at the Australia Embassy in Vietnam, also shared that Vietnamese Tet is similar to Australia’s Christmas, as family members often gather on these occasions. He said that Tet is unique and meaningful, so Vietnamese people should be proud of their traditional festival and maintain the unique cultural identity.