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Information about Vietnamese in Washington DC area, events and news,



Jan 22, 2013

Kick off the Lunar New Year with TETFEST for the first time in celebration of the Vietnamese New Year (Tet). This two-day event will be a family affair featuring live music, performances, cultural food, festive games and traditions. The celebration takes place on February 2nd & 3rd from 10am to 8pm at 9001 Arlington Blvd, Fairfax, VA.

Washington, DC. – Members of NOVAL, National Organization of Vietnamese American Leaders, have been working for months to prepare for the debut of TetFest, an event to celebrate the Vietnamese Lunar New Year (Tet). Last year, the organization put together a similar event with the goal of educating and preserving the Vietnamese culture called VietFest. This event was the biggest of its kind and attracted 10,000 people from the community. TetFest is a two day event and is expected to model after the success of its sister event.

So what is Tet? Short for Tết Nguyên Đán, Tet is the Vietnamese celebration of a new beginning, much like the solar New Year. Tet marks the passing of the lunar New Year. On the eve, families gather to pray in churches and temples. Parents give “lì xì,” red envelopes filled with money, to children for good luck. And instead of champagne and bad hors d’oeuvres, foods such as bánh chưng (square glutinous rice cakes), bánh dầy (round rice cakes) and mức (candied fruit) are served while greetings are exchanged.

Just as Tet brings people closer together, the goal of TetFest is to create a cultural ambiance that bonds families and the community through music, performances, foods, games and traditions. Every aspect of TetFest is designed to be more interactive so that people of all ages and backgrounds can fully immerse themselves in the spirit of Tet.

Adults as well as children will find something to their liking. There will be games catered to children, such as Bầu Cua, a popular Vietnamese dice game with pictures of various animals. While they play, they will learn a thing or two about these traditional games. “We hope to teach our children about the Vietnamese traditions through fun games and activities,” according to Daniel Nhật Đan Albert, President of NOVAL. One of the highlights of the event will be a children’s fashion show.

There are performances, games and contests that appeal to adults as well. The karaoke contest will be sure to capture the attention of music enthusiasts. In addition, there will be plenty of cultural performances, including a fashion show, to watch throughout the day. There will also be a charity poker tournament on both days starting at 10 am.

One of the many aspects of TetFest lies in the food. Vendors will be showcasing different types of Vietnamese food on site as well as food items that can only be found during Tet.

To top it off, a dance party will be held on Saturday from 8-11pm featuring popular Vietnamese singer Hoàn Vũ. For those who want to celebrate Tet while enjoying football, there will be a Super Bowl party with a large screen projector during the Sunday festival.

TetFest will start your Lunar New Year off right, and everyone is invited to attend, regardless of age or nationalities. General admission is $2; children under 12 and those wearing traditional dresses (Aó Daì) can enter for free. For more information about the event or how to become a volunteer, please visit www.tetfest.net.

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