Monday, February 11, 2013

Chuc Mung Nam Moi

This past weekend was Lunar New Year, and for the first time since Jason and I have been married, we got to celebrate it in Little Saigon in Orange County!  Little Saigon has a huge population of Vietnamese people.  Imagine a place where EVERYTHING is in Vietnamese!  The thought of celebrating Vietnamese New Year (Tet) with other Vietnamese was very thrilling.  Not only did I get to experience it for myself, but the fact that I also got to introduce our kids and Jason to such a special event, made it even more significant.  In addition, this was the first time that our kids would get to meet my relatives! 

We drove down on Saturday morning and went to my Aunt 6's(Di Sau) house in Lake Forest (in Vietnamese, we call aunts/uncles based on their birth order and whether they're related to your mom or your dad).  That night, my aunt and uncle hosted a traditional New Year's Eve meal with my mom's older sister, Aunt 2 (Di Hai), and younger brother, Uncle 5 (Cau Nam).  My cousin Andy came over, as well.  I loved it- Vietnamese foods that I haven't had in what seems like ages... With the exception of this chicken, lol!    

 A delicious family-style Vietnamese meal
One tradition that we have tried to do every year is to give our kids li xi, which are envelopes containing lucky money.  However, our kids made out big this year since they are basically the only kids on my mom's side and everyone gave li xi to them.

 Our kids with my cousin, Andy
 Aunt 6, my mom, Jeremy, Grace, and Aunt 2
 Di Hai, Di Sau, my mom, Cau Nam
 Authentic bowl of pho, which I got to enjoy for breakfast on New Year's Day (Vietnamese eat pho anytime of day)
 We loved the atmosphere- we got to enjoy many lion dances and the kids thought it was so cool to hear the loud popping of the many firecrackers that were lit everywhere!
 A very well-known Vietnamese mall called Phuoc Loc Tho. Not too long before this picture was taken, there were thousands of people crammed into this area watching lion dances and firecrackers going off.
Grace saw girls wearing the traditional Vietnamese ao dai and begged for us to get her one.  She wore it out of the store and even the 4.5 hours in the car that it took to get back to Fresno.
On our way back to Fresno, we were able to reconnect with my cousin, Quyen, who now lives in the San Fernando Valley.  We had a great time catching up and getting to know his wife. 

It's the Year of the Snake... Wonder what's in store for us?!  Happy New Year- Chuc Mung Nam Moi!

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