Here’s how OC schools and districts celebrated the Lunar New Year

Westminster High School students perform in the annual Tet Fair and Show.
(Courtesy of Huntington Beach Union High School District)

Students, educators and community members across Orange County began the Lunar New Year by participating in cultural performances, playing games and sharing meals.

Lunar New Year starts with the first new moon of the lunar calendar and is recognized by many countries in East Asia including China, Vietnam and Korea. This year marks the Year of the Rabbit — or the Year of the Cat, depending on cultural traditions — which is believed to symbolize longevity, peace and prosperity.

The holiday is typically observed for three days — this year from Jan. 22 to Jan. 24 — while families gather to gift each other money, play games and eat traditional foods to bring good luck into the new year.

At Westminster High School in the Huntington Beach Union High School District, the Vietnamese Language Program and Vietnamese American Culture Club kicked off the celebration of the Lunar New Year, known as Tết Nguyên Đán, with student performances and activities held on Jan. 19.

The fifth annual Tết Fair and Show featured lion dancing, traditional Vietnamese drumming and a fashion show of traditional Vietnamese dresses called áo dài. Booths with traditional crafts and games were available for students to learn more about Vietnamese culture.

“Being one of the Vietnamese World Language Teachers and Advisors of the VACC, I observed students devoting countless hours to create an event that is so significant to our community, and the best part is that they are able to share these cultural traditions and stories with their friends and staff throughout our campus,” Westminster High School teacher Mai-Khanh Cong-Huyen said in a press release.

Representatives from other Orange County school districts joined in on the new year festivities at the City of Westminster’s 2023 Tết Parade. Students and staff from the Garden Grove Unified School District, the Anaheim Union High School District and the Ocean View and Westminster school districts wore traditional Vietnamese clothing and carried Lunar New Year-themed banners to admire the event’s traditional dances and firecracker shows.

The OCDE Newsroom spotted the following social media posts with photos and videos highlighting the activities organized by Orange County schools and districts to honor students’ cultures and ring in the Lunar New Year.

Anaheim Union High School District representatives walk in the 2023 Tết Parade in Westminster.