Lunar New Year, also known as Tet, for Vietnamese-Americans starts February 1, 2022 and ends January 31, 2023. Tet is the most important holiday in Vietnamese culture. Tet is a celebration of spring where families gather and enjoy each other’s company. The celebration includes an abundance of food and red envelopes. Tet holiday is based on the Chinese lunar calendar and according to the Chinese 12-year animal zodiac cycle, the Chinese year beginning in 2022 is the year of the “Tiger”. The Tiger is known as the king of all beasts in China. The Tiger is ranked third among the animals of the Chinese zodiac. The zodiac sign, Tiger, is a symbol of strength, exorcising evils, and braveness. Many Chinese kids wear hats or shoes with a tiger image for good luck.
Vietnam has created its own Tet traditions with a blend of Chinese culture. Many Vietnamese-Americans brought the tradition to the United States and in some communities, such as Fountain Valley, Garden Grove, and Westminster there are exciting festivities leading up to the Lunar New Year. Preparation for Tet usually takes a few weeks in advance from thoroughly cleaning every part of the home to decorations with celebratory items. Plants, flowers, fruits, and food are in abundance in every home. One of the most popular dishes that's enjoyed during the New Year feast is Banh Chung, a rice cake consisting of glutinous rice, mung beans, pork, and other ingredients that depend on the area and the preferences of the chef. The cake is wrapped in banana leaves and served in pairs. It is also a common practice for Vietnamese families to purchase new clothes to wear during the holiday and the upcoming year. Kids love Tet as it is a custom of parents and elders to give children a small sum of money to enjoy in a “red envelope”.
This year there are two Tet Festivals in Orange County: Mile Square Regional Park and OC Fair & Events Center. Mile Square Park will be hosted by OC Parks and it begins on Friday, February 4, 2022, from 5 p.m. - 10 p.m.; Saturday, February 5, 2022 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday, February 6, 2022 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. See the flyer below for more information.
Tet Festival hosted by the Union of Vietnamese Student Associations at OC Fair & Event Center will be on Saturday, February 5, 2022 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday, February 6, 2022 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. The event will have vibrant arrays of traditional food, traditional performances and entertainment, and cultural exhibitions. For more information visit https://tetfestival.org/.