In the first days of the 2013 Year of the Snake, Vietnamese in Laos flocked to Phat Tich and Bang Long pagodas to ask for peace, wealth and luck, as well as to extend New Year greetings to each other.

It is also a chance for younger generations of Vietnamese in Laos to discover their culture.

They also prayed for the further development of the traditional relations between Laos and Vietnam , to make their work or business in Laos more comfortable.

On the first day of the Lunar New Year (February 10), a ceremony was held in Truc Lam Pagoda in Villebon-sur-Yvette, France, to pray for peace for Vietnamese people living in Paris and its neighbouring regions.

More than 300 people including Ambassador Duong Chi Dung participated in the ceremony hosted by Buddhist Monk Thich Phuong Duong.

After the ceremony, the visitors had a chance to enjoy Vietnamese vegetarian food provided by the pagoda.

On the same day, representatives of Vietnamese monks studying in India worked with the Vietnamese Embassy in the country to hold a ceremony to greet the New Year and ask for peace.

Ambassador Nguyen Thanh Tan wished the monks good health and briefed them on Vietnam ’s achievements over the past year.

On the evening of February 9 (last day of the 2012 lunar year), the Vietnamese Embassy in Sri Lanka organised a ceremony to welcome the 2013 Lunar New Year.

Among the participants were guests from the host country, ambassadors and diplomatic representatives from a number of countries, overseas Vietnamese, and Vietnamese students.

In Chile, a warm gathering was held by the Vietnamese Embassy to bring in the New Year. It attracted not only overseas Vietnamese but also guests from the host country.

Ambassador Ha Thi Ngoc Ha highlighted achievements in the relations between Vietnam and Chile in 2012, including the highest ever rise in two-way trade, which reached 561 million USD, an increase of 15.26 percent from 2011. -VNA