Today marks the first day on the Chinese calendar of the Year of the Snake.
In Vietnam, they call their New Year celebration Tet, and it is the biggest and most important holiday of the year. I live only a few miles from Little Saigon, the largest population of Vietnamese outside of Vietnam, and so today I thought I would check out the giant Tet Festival that they have every year.
The festival was in a park in Garden Grove, filled with carnival rides, food vendors, cultural displays, singing, and dancing. I really wanted to see the Lion Dance, but I missed it.
I did however get to see a traditional wedding procession, some men playing a huge board game that I did not understand, a presentation on the art of bonsai, and children singing. Of course the entire park smelled amazing, with grilled beef and pork and sweetened coffees and teas filling the air, while pho steamed out of Styrofoam bowls.
I was a little self- conscious about being an outsider snapping pictures of their important holiday traditions, but fortunately taking as many photos as possible on a camera phone is a part of the festivities as well, just as long as you don’t block someone else’s shot!