First ever Hanoi Mardi Gras Festival to cheer up LGBT communities hinh anh 1Parade revelers at the 2014 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras (Photo:

Hanoi (VNA) - The first-ever Hanoi Mardi Gras Festival, which aims to highlight and celebrate the city’s LGBT community, will hold its main celebration on March 24 at the Australian Embassy.

The Australian Embassy in Vietnam has officially announced a series of events aiming to bring the spirit of the famous Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival to Hanoi.

To start the event, candidates living in Vietnam are invited to take part in two competitions – Road to Mardi Gras, an online story-telling contest and Colours of Mardi Gras, a costume contest for members of LGBT communities in Vietnam. The contests have been running from February 18 to March 24.

Two lucky entrants will win tickets to the 2018 Sydney Mardi Gras Festival. The best stories and costumes will be on display at the main event.

The March 24 main celebration will be a feast for the senses as well as the story exhibition and fashion show. The event will showcase memorable moments of the 2017 Sydney Mardi Gras Festival, with lively musical performances by both Vietnamese and Australian artists.

“Promoting gender equality is a top priority for both the Vietnamese and Australian governments, and we are proud to support Vietnam’s efforts, including through our development cooperation programme here. Through this event, we hope to bring the spirit of Sydney’s famous Mardi Gras to Vietnam, helping to raise awareness about the rights of LGBT people,” said Craig Chittick, Australian Ambassador to Vietnam.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for my organisation and other NGOs to cooperate with the Australian Embassy on gender equality. Hanoi Mardi Gras Festival is not simply a fun celebration but also a very meaningful event of diversity and self-expression for the LGBT community,” said Vu Kieu Oanh, founder of LGBT Community Development Center 6 and a representative of LGBT community in Vietnam.

Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is a famous and well-loved annual celebration of LGBT communities across the globe. Since its founding in 1978, it has achieved an iconic status as a statement of pride and a platform to promote the broad message of diversity and acceptance. With this year’s theme of “Creating Equality”, the Mardi Gras promises to not only bring  colourful and dazzling performances but also promote a world where everyone is treated fairly regardless of their sexuality, gender identity, race, belief, age, ability and social status.-VNA