Rena from the Public Library was talking to us about the celebrations and traditions for Chinese New Year – which is today. For the Chinese, it is the year of the Rabbit. As the Los Angeles Times tells us, it is also the Vietnamese Year of the Cat:
This weekend is party time and not just because it’s Super Bowl weekend. For Southern California’s many Asian communities, it’s the annual celebration of the Lunar New Year. While L.A.’s Chinatown has long been the focus of New Year celebrations, newer Asian communities are also forging their identities with their own unique celebrations.
For the Vietnamese community, it’s the Year of the Cat (the Chinese are celebrating the Year of the Rabbit), and in Garden Grove the Vietnamese community will hold its annual three-day Tet festival (full name, Tet Nguyen Dan, which translates to “Feast of the First Morning”). The Garden Grove celebration is marking its 30th year and is considered to be the largest Tet festival outside of Vietnam, drawing 100,000-plus visitors from all over the United States.
Considering that our Asian population is rather small and the individual nationalities even smaller, we don’t see much of anything marking the new year in Laredo. Instead, we get to see Catholics celebrate El Dia de la Candelaria. I’ve talked about some of the traditions in last year’s post. Of course, I got the call early in the morning that tamales were going to be made at el partner’s tia’s house and a rosary (today is one of the “mysteries” of the rosary) would be prayed. This is the time of the year when a ceramic baby Jesus is dressed and acostado (laid to rest) for the rest of the year. It is sad to say that with each generation, we are forgetting the older traditions, even worse in my case – exploring and changing faith.
What I thought was HILARIOUS but VERY CUTE was LaSanbe’s KeyRose recording his mom in a conversation of today’s Candlemas traditions. Even if you are a one blog reader, check it out – it is adorable, corazon!
Of course, she focuses on the planting season which is true back in Mexico. Even Rena from the library was talking about the Chinese New Year being the time when you start planting. So whether you are ushering in the year of the Gato or year of the Conejo or Candlemas or are just a pagan farmer – it is time to pay attention to your garden (I suppose you can wait a few days after the snow possibility). Maybe that is why there was a gardening workshop today… hmmm…