On St. Patrick's Day 17th March 2018, the City of Hanoi joined the Global Greening Initiative for the second consecutive year, with the Pen Monument in Hoan Kiem Lake 'going green' to celebrate Ireland's National Day.
Mr. Andrew Doyle T.D. Minister of State for Food, Forestry and Horticulture, who represented the Government of Ireland during the St. Patrick's Day Festival in Vietnam; Ms. Cáit Moran, Irish Ambassador to Vietnam; Mr. Nguyễn Doãn Toản, Vice Chairperson of Hanoi People's Committee attended the Green Lighting Ceremony at the Pen Monument, Hoan Kiem Lake.
The ceremony was followed by the 'Ireland Day 2018' event, a fun-filled free public event of Irish cultural activities organised by the Centre for Sustainable Development Studies (CSDS), a partner of the Embassy of Ireland.
A group of talented young performers from the Traditional Irish Music Society of University College Dublin (UCD Tradsoc) brought great Irish traditional music and dance to the public in Hanoi.
In his opening remarks at the Ceremony, Minister Andrew Doyle T.D, said:
"There is a huge global family of Irish people around the globe - some 70 million people around the world having Irish ancestry and many more are friends of Ireland. St Patrick's Day is quite a celebration everywhere, including here in Vietnam. This year, I am delighted that the celebration of St. Patrick's Day in Vietnam in 2018 is the biggest and best yet with a programme of events organised by the Embassy and by the Irish community in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City and friends of Ireland.
Ireland is famous for being a green island. We are known as 'the Emerald Isle' because of our beautiful green landscape. Ireland's Global Greening initiative is now a firm feature of St. Patrick's Day around the world.
I hope the relationship and cooperation between Ireland and Vietnam, and in particular with the City of Hanoi will continue to strengthen."
Mr Nguyễn Doãn Toản, Vice Chairperson of Hanoi People's Committee, said:
"In 2017, Hanoi was proud to be the first city in South East Asia to join over 100 landmarks in 35 countries to go green on St. Patrick's Day. The Octagon house in Ly Thai To park turned green. It was a great opportunity for the people of Hanoi to learn about Irish culture and enjoyed family-friendly activities.
This year, the Pen Monument in Hoan Kiem lake joins 300 world famous landmarks in 32 countries to go green on St. Patrick's Day – Ireland's National Day. We are delighted to welcome the Traditional Irish Music society of University College Dublin to Hanoi and thank you for bringing some of the best Irish music and dance to the people of Hanoi. I hope the relationship between Hanoi and Ireland will continue to grow."