Celebrating Culture

If you are celebrating today and want to enjoy a first hand look at a beautiful culture, I encourage a visit to Garden Grove, California for the largest Vietnamese celebration outside of Vietnam.

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For over 20 years now, our dear friend Toan has been celebrating and educating us with a taste of his family traditions.  And every year, usually a week before their new year hits, we receive a generous reminder.

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Vietnamese New Year, is known as Tetor “Tết Nguyên Đán”, is the most important and popular holiday and festival in the Vietnam culture. It marks the arrival of spring based on the Chinese calendar. The name Vietnam New Year is  Sino-Vietnamese for Feast of the First Morning, derived from the Han nom characters. 

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Tết is celebrated on the same day as  Chinese New Year.  Many  Vietnamese prepare for Tết by cooking special holiday foods and cleaning the house. There are a lot of customs practiced during Tết, such as visiting a person’s house on the first day of the new year (xông nhà), ancestral worshipping, wishing New Year’s greetings, giving lucky money to children and elderly people, and opening a shop.

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Tết is also an occasion for pilgrims and family reunions. During Tết, Vietnamese visit their relatives and temples, forgetting about the troubles of the past year and hoping for a better upcoming year. They consider Tết to be the first day of spring and the festival is often called Hội xuân (spring festival).

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The Tet Festival is at Garden Grove Park, 9301 Westminster Ave., in Garden Grove. The three-day festival continues from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and concludes from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday. There is parking at the adjacent Bolsa Grande High School. There also is a free shuttle that will operate from noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday and noon to 9 p.m. on Sunday from the Westminster Civic Center, 8200 Westminster Blvd., and La Quinta High School, 10372 McFadden Ave. in Westminster. For more information, click Toan aka “Uncle Candy”

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