Orange County Vietnamese Catholic Community celebrates Lunar New Year with Tet Festival
Garden Grove, Calif. (Jan. 25, 2022) — The Most Rev. Thanh Thai Nguyen, auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Orange, will preside over two Masses and celebrations marking the Lunar New Year and the traditional Vietnamese Tet holiday in February.
Bishop Nguyen will be at the Vietnamese Catholic Center (1538 Century Blvd., Santa Ana) on Feb. 1 for the 10:30 a.m. Mass. On Feb. 5 at 8:30 a.m., Bishop will also preside over the Mass and provide a special New Year’s blessing at the Our Lady of La Vang Shrine on the Christ Cathedral campus (13280 Chapman Ave., Garden Grove).
Tet is an abbreviation for Tết Nguyên Đán, which means the first morning of the first day of the first period. The Orange County celebrations are among the largest of their kind in the United States. Many varieties of flowers are displayed throughout the week. Firecrackers are also lit, an act that is believed to weigh off evil spirits.
On the first morning of Tet, adults celebrate the New Year by presenting children with red envelopes that contain “lucky money,” or lì xì.
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. Families often display yellow Mai flower trees (mai vàng) and/or cherry blossoms (hoa đào). They will also showcase other flowers, such as yellow chrysanthemums or orchids, which signal spring and a new beginning.
A tray of fruits will also be out as a symbol of prosperity. Plenty of foods will be prepared on the Lunar New Year’s eve for family and friends to enjoy for three days of the New Year.
About the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange
With 1.3 million Catholics, 57 parishes, five Catholic Centers, and 35 schools, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange is one of the largest, most diverse faith communities in the United States. The Diocese empowers Catholics across Orange County to have an active life of faith that is integrated and woven into the fabric of their daily lives through the community and sacramental life of the Church. Under the leadership of Bishop Kevin Vann, the Diocese works to establish and support dynamic, vibrant parishes and schools, and welcome all to live the Gospel with faith, joy, charity and unity. Christ Cathedral, the spiritual home of the Diocese, was dedicated in July 2019. Learn more about the Diocese of Orange at rcbo.org.