The start of the Lunar New Year begins on Feb. 5, but it’s not too late to participate in the festivities that celebrate Asian culture at the multiple events taking place all across Orange County this weekend.
The annual Tet Festival will be held at the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa from Feb. 8 to Feb. 10 and hosted by the Union of Vietnamese Students Association.
Free admission will be offered to children ages two and under and on Saturday, Feb. 9 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for those who attend this event in traditional Vietnamese attire. General admission tickets are $6 for everyone else.
Tet is short for the Vietnamese phrase, “Tet Nguyên Dán,” which translates to “Vietnamese Lunar New Year,” one of the most significant holidays celebrated by Vietnamese people.
At the Tet Festival, Vietnamese culture is observed through a variety of vendors, activities, contests and shows.
Festival goers will be given an opportunity to immerse themselves into a weekend-long celebration through participating in a pho or balut eating contest.
For those who don’t enjoy being pressured to consume food, there is also a “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” tournament where players can compete to win prizes.
This event also promises entertainment for viewers as well, as there are multiple talent acts from across Orange County that were auditioned and chosen to perform Saturday night.
The following day is a dance competition, which also serves as a reason to come back and enjoy even more tasty food and entertainment.
Visitors can experience a deeper exposure to Vietnamese culture by visiting Làng Viet Nam, which is a replica of a traditional Vietnamese village.
The village contains expositions of Vietnamese traditions, which includes events such as: traditional Vietnamese opera, raising of bamboo and praying to the village deity, and spring wedding.
If not to learn about the fascinating details of Vietnamese culture, attending this event will undoubtedly be worthwhile for its food and entertainment.
Lunar New Year Parade in Bolsa
The Little Saigon Tet Parade is going to take place on Feb. 9 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., where floats, performances and Vietnamese traditions will be showcased.
Starting on Magnolia Street, the parade will travel down the north lanes of Bolsa Avenue toward Bushard Street. Although the route ends there, this is where the festivities begin.
The parade is organized by the Vietnamese American Federation of Southern California with the intention of celebrating and sustaining Vietnamese culture for future generations.
Little Saigon is a not-so-little city in Orange County that holds the largest population of Vietnamese people in America.
With roughly 95 organization participants and 20,000 spectators, the parade serves as a representation of the large Vietnamese population in the Westminster and Garden Grove area.
While the Tet Parade is expected to be broadcasted across the country, the exotic lion dancing, skilled marching bands and beautiful Vietnamese attire are features that are more enjoyable when viewed in person.
Orange County Museum of Art’s Alan Nakagawa field trip to Tet Festival
The Orange County Museum of Art will offer a series of field trips led by artist Alan Nakagawa.
The first of the Little Saigon Plein Air Sessions will be held at the Tet Festival in the Orange County Fairgrounds at 10 a.m. Saturday.
The final session will take place March 2 at the Chua Dieu Ngu Buddhist Temple in Westminster at 10 a.m.
The museum will be providing basic art supplies, but welcomes anyone to bring their own to draw and paint inside these unique spaces. To participate, register at [email protected]
Lunar New Year Celebration at The Outlets at Orange
Festivities at The Outlets at Orange began last month and will last until Feb. 19, but a celebration will take place this Saturday from noon to 2 p.m., as Chinese culture will be honored through live music, traditional lion dances and red envelope giveaways.