PHOTO ESSAY: Celebrating Hmong New Year in St. Paul

A colorful Hmong dance troupe performing. (All photos by Tiffany Vang)

This year marks the 38th Annual Hmong New Year in Saint Paul. Prior to the Hmong arrival in the United States, the New Year's celebration was held after the rice harvest. The tradition continued as Hmong people made Minnesota their home.

The event is open to all, and includes entertainment, pageant competition, food, arts and craft, and dress.

Want to learn more about Hmong New Year? Here's a 2010 article by Phyllis Louise Harris, originally written for Asian Pages and republished in the TC Daily Planet, and a Wikipedia article.

The photos below were captured during the three-day Hmong New Year celebration at St. Paul's River Centre.

Neng Lee, Hmong New Year Program Coordinator giving a speech to welcome community members.

Neng Lee, Hmong New Year Program Coordinator giving a speech to welcome community members.

Local Hmong Artists about to perform a song "All This and More" by Chael Young and PK Yang. Their performance was to raise awareness for the need of higher educational attainment in the Hmong community.

Local Hmong artists about to perform a song "All This and More" by Chael Young and PK Yang. Their performance was to raise awareness for the importance of higher educational attainment in the Hmong community. Artists include: Chael Young, PK Yang, Tousaiko Lee, Pong Vang, Cody C. Lee, Chilli Lor, Benny Tzia Vang, and Kalia Yang.

Lao Family Community's newest Committee: Hmong Higher Education Scholar Program. HHESP members are in the picture with Chairs Janelle Vang and See Lee.

The main hall is packed with people playing the courting 'ball toss' game, buying food, taking photographs, and speaking with friends and family.

Flowers are sold at the Hmong New Year, and are usually given to performers, and sometimes during the ball tossing courtship.

A Hmong dance troupe performing.

A colorful Hmong dance troupe performing.

Male Hmong dance troupe performing on stage.

Hmong arts and crafts are sold at the Hmong New Year in a flea market set up inside the River Centre.

Taking photos in the main hall.

The Hmong have been here for almost 40 years, and have kept their traditions strong, but have also adopted many American customs. With the 38th Annual Hmong New Year this year and going on for the 39th next year, the Hmong are here to stay for good.


Coverage of issues and events that affect Central Corridor neighborhoods and communities is funded in part by a grant from Central Corridor Funders Collaborative.

  • Love it! - by Yama Moua on Wed, 12/04/2013 - 4:28pm
  • Next year videos of the dancing??????? - by Sharon Henneman on Tue, 12/03/2013 - 10:00pm

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Tiffany Vang's picture
Tiffany Vang

Tiffany Vang recently graduated from the College of Saint Benedict in Saint Joseph, MN. She was a Peace Studies major, and is 2009 Gates Millennium Scholar and Ambassador, and 2011 Jackson Fellow.