Celebrate The Vietnamese New Year In The Wichita Area

Jan 31, 2014

The Vietnamese New Year takes place from Jan. 31 to Feb. 2.
Credit Hugo Phan

Once every year, my family and I celebrate Tết, which is also known as the Vietnamese/Lunar New Year.

From my experience with the holiday, preparations for the event usually involve one thing: cleaning.

“I want this house cleaned today because we’re not lifting a finger when Tết starts,” my mother says. “It’s bad luck.”

My father is not superstitious but still enjoys her rituals, which increase as the holiday grows closer. The whole family is pressed into cleaning, cooking and decorating – superstitious or not.

The theme of the holiday revolves around luck.

On the first day of the New Year, people give money in red envelopes or fruit baskets wrapped in red cellophane, hoping the recipients have a year full of fortune and goodwill.

Every year, my siblings and I get in line and wish my parents and their friends Happy New Year. At that point, we're able to receive our gifts.

After spending time with family and close friends, we usually attend a community event. These get-togethers usually include traditional Vietnamese food, dragon dances, talent shows, games and raffles.

You can catch several of these in Wichita over the next couple of weeks.

Thai Binh Super Market - Feb. 1, 1:00 p.m.

The event begins at 1:00pm and will last well into the evening. The day starts off with a raffle along with a series of games and activities. A dragon dance performance is expected to follow along with the distribution of lucky money for children. A traditional Vietnamese variety show will then be put on by members of the community. Admission to the event at 1514 W 21st is free.

St. Anthony - Feb. 2, 11:00 a.m.

Church of the Magdalen -  Feb. 9, 2:00 p.m.

Join the Catholic Vietnamese Community to help ring in the New Year. The events at both churches start off with a Vietnamese mass. After the services, dragon dances, raffles and Vietnamese food will be found in the reception areas. A traditional Vietnamese variety show is also expected to be part of each event. St. Anthony is located at 258 Ohio and the Church of the Magdalen is located at 12626 East 21st Street North.