Tết Festival 2022 :: You’re Invited!

Chúc mừng năm mới! Happy New Year! 

On February 1, my family, along with countless others, will celebrate Lunar New Year. We don’t count down to midnight or pop the champagne, but we enjoy many different traditions to ring in the New Year! This year sees the return of the local Tết festival in New Orleans East at Mary Queen of Vietnam, where we will join my husband’s family for a day full of festivities.

Before we head out to the festival, we will take part in a ceremonial display of respect to my husband’s parents by presenting them with gifts of fruit. My children will dress in traditional áo dàis and recite the New Year’s greeting: Chúc mừng năm mới! In return, they will receive lucky red envelopes with money inside, called lì xì. 

Tết festival

Then… it’s festival time!

AND YOU’RE INVITED!

The free festival will take place February 4-6. For those who attend the opening night on Friday, they will be treated to a traditional lion dance and firecrackers, making the night extra festive. 

Over the course of the weekend, everyone is welcome to come out and celebrate starting at 10 AM. There are plenty of games to play, ranging from the traditional Bầu cua tôm cá (a gambling game using dice and pictures of animals) to the types of games typically found at school fairs and carnivals. Children can also ride the small party train around the grounds!

The center stage is always alive with music, including popular bands Groovy 7 and RoyalStreet, interspersed with Vietnamese performers. The most Vietnamese performances will be on Saturday night. If you’re not singing and dancing along, you can walk through the Vietnamese cultural display showcasing traditional outfits and more!

But like any good New Orleans festival, the best part of the Tết celebration is the wide range of delicious food! Come out and taste some traditional Vietnamese dishes, including:

  • Phở (Vietnamese bone broth soup with noodles and meat)
  • Bánh mì thịt (French bread sandwiches with different meats)
  • Bún thịt nướng (vermicelli noodles with grilled meat including beef, pork, & chicken)
  • Cháo gà (rice porridge with chicken)
  • Thịt xiêm nướng (grilled meat on a stick)
  • Bắp nướng (grilled corn)
  • Gà chiên (fried chicken)
  • Chả giò & Gỏi cuốn (egg rolls & spring rolls)
  • Chuối chiên (fried bananas)
  • Cà ri dê (goat curry)
  • Nước mía (fresh pressed sugar cane juice)
  • Hột vịt lộn (balut)
  • Chè (sweet tapioca)
  • Cà phê sữa đá (iced Vietnamese coffee)
Fried bananas
Bánh mì

We welcome you to the Tết festival and encourage you to wear red, a lucky color, to celebrate the year of the tiger. Those born in the year of the tiger are ambitious and competitive, but generous with a strong desire to help others. Encourage your kids to be like the tiger and find ways to help others in honor of the new year! And once again, happy lunar new year from my family to yours! 

Erica was born and raised in Metairie and now lives in Kenner with her husband Michael, and her three sons: Benjamin (5 years; paleontologist-artist-train engineer), Joshua (2 years; budding foodie), and the caboose, Elijah (super drooly). After graduating from UL Lafayette with a degree in advertising and landing her dream job, she left her chosen field and now works part time as an administrative assistant for a Catholic retreat movement. She spends the rest of her time at home with her boys, finding lost trucks and actively ignoring various messes. In 2019, she self-published her first book, The Sister. There's not a lot of free time between working, reading and writing, and chasing her kids, but in those moments she's usually sprawled on the sofa in casual denial pretending her house is cleaner than it is.

4 COMMENTS

    • Hi Nicole— no, the lion dancing is usually only part of the Friday opening ceremony. But in years past, they have had a lion costume on display to take pictures with as part of the cultural exhibit.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here