Kentuckians Celebrating the Vietnamese Lunar New Yearby Senator Mitch McConnell
Posted on 2015-02-03
McCONNELL. Mr. President, I wish our friends in the Vietnamese-
American community in Louisville, KY, and across the Commonwealth, a
very merry celebration of Tet Nguyen Dan. Tet Nguyen Dan means ``first
day,'' and is the celebration of the Vietnamese Lunar New Year and the
arrival of Spring. The Lunar New Year is the most important celebration
in traditional Vietnamese culture. This year it falls on February 19.
The celebration of the Lunar New Year lasts for several days. It is seen as the precursor for events of the coming year, and therefore is celebrated by paying homage to one's ancestors, having family reunions, and paying old debts.
At midnight of the Lunar New Year, the event is celebrated with firecrackers, gongs, and drums. Children wear new clothes to visit their relatives, and elders offer children little red envelopes full of money.
The festival then continues for several days with special events on each day. Many traditional foods are served during the Lunar New Year celebrations, including banh chung, a dish made of sticky rice, and mung beans and pork, all wrapped in banana leaves.
Of course, one doesn't have to be in Vietnam to celebrate the Lunar New Year. Louisville has a strong and vibrant Vietnamese-American community that contributes to the mosaic that is the River City, and this year they will celebrate the Lunar New Year with great gusto. Celebrations are scheduled across the city for several days.
I know that Louisville and the Commonwealth of Kentucky are better off for the values that Vietnamese-Americans celebrate during Tet Nguyen Dan--love of family, appreciation of one's elders and ancestors, and optimism about the times ahead. I convey to my friends in Kentucky's Vietnamese-American community my best wishes and I ask my U.S. Senate colleagues to join me in wishing them a happy, healthy, and prosperous Lunar New Year.