Happy Lunar New Year!

by Transpharmers

Happy Lunar New Years everyone!!

Welcome back to spring semester of second year!! We made it past the horrors of first semester and are living proof that: IT IS DOABLE. Yes, it was hard; absolutely challenging, but with love and support from fellow classmates and family, we both pulled through and is now one more semester closer to graduation. So, in celebration of a new semester and a new year, the Lunar New Years (aka Chinese New Year), we introduce you to the Year of the Dragon:

Every single year, our church would hold a celebration to ring in the Lunar New Year with all the parishioners. In our Vietnamese community, both in Vietnam and here in the US, the celebration of the Lunar New Year is even more important and more grand than the new year celebrated on January 1st. Celebration of the Lunar Year New, for us living in the US serves two purposes: one, it helps remind us of our beautiful Vietnamese culture, and two, it allows us to share this long-standing tradition with other friends and community members who are not yet aware of this holiday.

Preparation for the celebration starts weeks in advance with cooking of the “bánh chưng”. It is a sort of steamed cake that is made of glutinous rice, mung bean, and pork. This cake has a very rich origin in our Vietnamese culture dating back to the days of kings and queens in Vietnam. In present day, this steamed cake is usually given as a gift to families, and it can be enjoyed together as a snack or with meals. This year, our church members made 1000 of these steamed cake, not only to sell as a fundraiser for our church, but to also give away as gifts to the elderly community members as a sign of respect.

Not only were there preparations in the food, but there were also preparations made for entertainment. Every single group/ organization within our church prepared at least one act to perform on stage. The entertainment for this year included: live singing, group dances, mini skits, and short musicals. The kids from the youth group that we volunteer in performed both traditional and contemporary dances. Furthermore, what’s new years without lion dancing?? A group of youth from our church have been practicing very hard since the beginning of December to put together a 10 to 15-minute lion dance show for the entire church! This group included kids ages range from 11 to 18, all of which sacrificed their entire Saturdays to come to church to train and practice with the group. In the end, the Lunar New Year celebration was observed with a new year’s mass, a grand musical show, outstanding lion dances, and of course, a fully provided lunch for all attendees, complete with a piece of “bánh chưng”. What a great way to start off the new semester! Enjoy these few pictures we have highlighting some of the performances put on by our youth group kids.

-Kim

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