Looking for something new and fun to do this Saturday, February 2? Get yourself to the Vietnamese Tet New Year’s celebration, which will be held at the Hopkins High School, 2400 Lindbergh Drive in Minnetonka from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. This event is free and open to the public. The first 100 attendees will receive a telephone card for calls to Vietnam.
In the Vietnamese calendar, 2008 is the Year of the Rat – which, according to Trong Ha, one of the event’s organizers, symbolizes charm, passion, charisma, practicality and hardworking attributes for those born under this sign. The astrological signs repeat every twelve years and each year is represented by an animal.
For more information, contact Thinh Le at firstname.lastname@example.org or 612-229-7031 or visit the website at http://www.vietnam-minnesota.org/.
After spending the day at the festival, follow up in the evening with two popular Vietnamese singers, Ngoc Huyen and Kevin Khoa, who will hold forth at the Hoa Bien Restaurant at 1129 University Avenue West in Saint Paul. Tickets there are $20 at the door. Contact Thu Dao at 952-465-9083 or Maria Nguyencong at 612-735-4725 for advance tickets which may be had for $15.
A highlight of the daytime event will be the lion dance, which is a colorful and popular cultural tradition. The lion dance has traditional costumed dancers arrayed underneath a canopy costume of a lion with an elegant lion’s head at the beginning of the dance line. The dance is accompanied by drums and gongs.
You may choose from many other attractions during the festival. Martial arts demonstrations, always a favorite, will be performed by martial arts students and teachers from local martial arts schools. A new attraction this year will be a flower arranging session. Other popular attractions returning from other years are high achievement contests for students, poetry and writing contests, sport competitions and Vietnamese Idol Karaoke contests. Area organizations and agencies that serve the Vietnamese community will be present to offer information on their specialty in the fields of health and social services. Private businesses such as real estate and life insurance will also have booths at the event.
And it wouldn’t be a festival without delicious, traditional Vietnamese food, which will be available in the food pavilion. Many popular Twin Cities restaurants offer their specialties.