Hanoi (VNA) - President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) Central Committee Tran Thanh Man sent his “warmest greetings” and “best wishes” in a letter on April 3 to all Khmer ethnic minority people on the occasion of their traditional new year festival, Chol Chnam Thmay.

Describing the Khmer people as an integral part of the community of Vietnamese ethnic groups, Man spoke highly of what they have done to contribute to developing the country, improving living standards, and strengthening the national great unity bloc.

He also praised monks and dignitaries of Khmer Theravada Buddhism and outstanding Khmer people for setting great examples for others in their community in complying with the Party and State’s policies and in engaging people in activities held by the VFF.

This year’s Chol Chnam Thmay takes place at a time when Vietnam and the world are combating the COVID-19 pandemic and the Mekong Delta is being severely hit by drought and saltwater intrusion, negatively affecting people’s lives and socio-economic development, he said.

Man hopes that Khmer monks and people will continue to uphold traditional solidarity, overcome hardships, maintain production, and preserve their cultural identity.

He also urged them to follow the State’s preventive measures against the pandemic while enjoying the traditional festival.

The front leader ended his letter by wishing the Khmer monks and people a peaceful, joyful, and merry festival.

Chol Chnam Thmay is one of the most important festivals of the Khmer people. It usually lasts three days and is celebrated primarily in pagodas. The festival demonstrates the Khmer people’s aspirations to move on from the old year and look forward to a promising new year.

The festival lasts from April 14 to 16 this year./.