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Lunar New Year festivities begin in Orange County

With the lunar calendar signaling the arrival of the Year of the Dragon, Orange County is abuzz with excitement as residents prepare for cultural festivities marking the Lunar New Year.

Little Saigon kicked off a weekend of events with a celebration known as Tet, people feasted on traditional Vietnamese food and showed off colorful cultural dresses. Orange County is home to the largest Vietnamese community outside of Asia.

Baolinh Nguyen, a member of a traditional lion dance troupe, notes the increasing popularity of lion dance teams in the United States.

“In the U.S. we are seeing more and more lion dance teams becoming more and more popular,” said Nguyen. “Younger people get into the tradition, look back into their cultural roots.”

The dragon symbolizes power, luck, and prosperity, and will be at center stage in various festivities throughout Orange County.

Linh Nguyen, a participant in the festivities, emphasizes the importance of sharing their cultural flavors with the broader American community.

“We’ve got the Vietnamese Lunar New Year Ao Dai (traditional dress) that everyone can participate in and just have a day in America, but bring all the flavors of our culture here,” said Nguyen.

In Tustin, James Phan, owner of a local nail salon, is embracing the spirit of generosity. Distributing lucky red envelopes filled with new money, Phan shares his good fortune with customers, highlighting the Lunar New Year’s importance for Vietnamese and Asian communities.

“This is the biggest holiday for all Vietnamese, all Asian,” said Phan

Source: NBC Los Angeles

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