“T?t is considered to be the most important of the Vietnamese holidays. It is a time of rebirth and renewal marking the arrival of spring, and a time to forget the troubles of the past year and look forward to a hopeful new year. People of Vietnamese origin observe T?t by paying homage to their ancestors, visiting family and friends, going to church or temple, and attending local festivals, events and celebrations in their community.
“This year, we enter the Year of the Snake, which is an animal traditionally associated with gracefulness and intelligence.
“A few weeks ago I was pleased to join Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Canada’s first Vietnamese Canadian Senator Thanh Hai Ngo, and nearly 10,000 Vietnamese Canadians for the T?t 2013 celebration in Toronto.
“In his remarks, the Prime Minister stated that T?t provides an opportunity for all Canadians to reflect on the tremendous contributions that members of the Vietnamese community have made to this country’s rich and diverse heritage. He also noted that it is a time to appreciate living in Canada, where we are proud to stand up for freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.
“As Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, I offer my best wishes to those celebrating the Vietnamese New Year, and I hope that the Year of the Snake brings everyone health, happiness and prosperity.”
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