Lunar New Year

Nationality: Vietnamese
Primary Language: English
Age: 18
Occupation: Student
Residence: Los Angeles, CA
Performance Date: 04/26/2024


“Every year my family’s church throws a Lunar New Year festival to celebrate the New year. There is always plenty of food, live music, people, and activities for kids. I used to dread going, but it’s really fun to see people I haven’t seen in a while and to get dressed up in cultural clothes.”


The informant, who grew up in the California Bay Area, is talking about Lunar New Year, as it was celebrated by his Vietnamese church. While the date changes every year, he recalls the festival and celebration as being a constant for as many years as he can remember. He used to get annoyed with the amount of people he was forced to interact with, and the uncomfortable clothes he had to wear, but now sees the festival as a fun and welcoming event to ring in the New Year.


Lunar New Year is a popular and important holiday across many East-Asian cultures. Lunar New Year festivals are a common celebratory event that I have encountered numerous times. They are not unique to America, and are extremely prevalent in Asia, as well as other countries. The festival, while often celebrated differently, contains numerous common threads, including heavy utilization of red decorations, common foods, etc. This festival is cultural, and holds wide cultural significance as a way to celebrate a new year, and to bring in good omens of health and wealth. I think that the Lunar New Year is specifically interesting because it spans numerous East Asian cultures, and is distinct from religious celebrations, but still holds great prominence and importance in Asian households. I have met numerous people who look forward to the festivals and the food, and see it as a fond memory and event that has been consistent throughout their lives. I think it also speaks to the permeance of culture, as it travels with people as they move and settle in new areas, serving as a way to bond with other people of a similar background.