A Lao traditional dance at the programme (Photo: voh.com.vn)
The programme introduced typical customs prevalent at the traditional festivals of the four ASEAN nations, including the Buddha bath, water festival, and tying threads around guests’ wrists.
Visitors to the event also had a chance to taste signature dishes of the four countries, and enjoy folk songs and dances performed by Thai, Cambodian and Lao students who are studying in Ho Chi Minh City.
A seven-day photo exhibition also kicked off the same day with pictures of cultural practices, rituals, and activities held to observe the traditional festivals in Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Myanmar.
While extending his best wishes to Cambodian, Lao, Myanmar and Thai people on their traditional festivals, HUFO Chairman, Huynh Minh Thien, stressed that over the past years, Vietnamese people have worked together with people from the four countries in the struggle for national independence as well as in the national cause of construction and defence in each country.
They have also strived together to build the ASEAN Community of peace, stability, cooperation and prosperity, he added.
The programme aims to help Ho Chi Minh City residents learn more about the traditional festivals and culture of four ASEAN nations, thus contributing to boosting friendship and cooperation among people from the five countries, he said.
Speaking at the event, Laos' Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City, Somxay Sanam-Oune, highly appreciated the organisation of the programme, saying that the event contributed to tightening solidarity among ASEAN nations.
Annually, April 14 to 16 is the period when Cambodians celebrate their Chol Chnam Thmay festival, Lao people observe their Bun Pi May festival, the Burmese welcome their Thingyan festival, and Thai people organise their Trut Sonkran festival.
These festivals are an occasion for people in each country to visit pagodas to pray for luck, express their love and respect for their family, and hold activities to welcome a New Year full of happiness and prosperity.