Vietnamese Catholic Community Celebrates Lunar New Year with historic Tet Festival
ORANGE, Calif., (January 23, 2012) – The Most Rev. Dominic M. Luong, Auxiliary Bishop of Orange, presided over a mass and celebration marking the lunar new year and the traditional Vietnamese Tet holiday at the Vietnamese Catholic Center (1538 N. Century Blvd., Santa Ana). Tet is an abbreviation for Tet Nguyen Dan which means the first morning of the first day of the first period.
“I am honored to celebrate this Mass and traditional holiday at the pastoral center of our Vietnamese-American Catholic community,” said Bishop Luong. “TET is a sacred time to lift up our hearts to the Almighty and loving God in thanksgiving. God transcends time but has created time to allow us to collaborate with Him in fashioning a new earth.”
The Orange County celebration is the largest in the United States. For the Catholics, The New Year Mass is most important – other cultural celebrations include the dragon dance and ceremonial drumming. The entertainment includes well-known Vietnamese performers, a Vietnamese Catholic choir contest and traditional Ao Dai pageant. Thousands of varieties of flowers are displayed throughout the week ending with the New Year Mass celebrated by Bishop Luong.
The Tet festival is not only a new year’s celebration; it is a celebration of the symbiotic relationship between all things and honors the peaceful relationship between the Creator and humans.
2012 is the Year of the Dragon. The Dragon is the most desirable of signs because the creature is believed to bring luck, strength, nobility, royalty, wisdom and promising future. In Vietnamese culture the dragon has always been the symbol of royal families for thousands of years because the Emperors believed that the Dragon can protect their thrones and families with its fearsome strength and abilities.
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