Rain or shine, celebrations underway at SJ Lunar New Year Tet Festival

Lauren Martinez Image
Saturday, February 17, 2024
Lunar New Year celebrations underway at SJ Tet Festival
The three-day Lunar New Year Tet Festival kicked off in San Jose.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- The three-day Lunar New Year Tet Festival kicked off in San Jose.

Carnival rides, games and food vendors were set up outside the Eastridge Mall.

Jody Ngo, with UStar Productions, organized the three-day San Jose Lunar New Year Tet Festival.

"I think the Vietnamese or Korean or Chinese -- there's no language for entertainment," Ngo said.

Rain is expected this weekend but organizers are ready.

MORE: What is Lunar New Year and how is it different from Chinese New Year?

"We already set up some big tents where people can sit down and wait for the rain to go. And if it's cold, we have some heaters to stay warm and dry in the tent as well," Ngo said.

Tet Lunar New Year is the longest holiday of the year in Vietnam.

Even a small festival like this reminds many of home.

San Francisco resident Hanh Vu is from Vietnam but studying in the Bay Area.

"I try to find a sense of belonging, you know. Like, because that's what we used to do in Vietnam. We have lots of fair festivals like this in Vietnam," Vu said.

MORE: Lunar New Year celebration in SF Chinatown brings together communities old and new

One family from the Sacramento area said they drive to the Bay Area every year because they don't have a community celebration like this.

Elk Grove resident Lilian Sor said being at the festival, the music and dressing up makes her feel connected to her culture.

Her brother Jacob likes the quality time spent together.

"Maybe like hang out with the family, meeting some new people and learning new things," Jacob Sor said.

An organizer described Tet as Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year all bunched into one big celebration.

MORE: Lunar New Year: Year of the Dragon celebrations kick off across the Bay Area

It's a time to honor traditions, family and a new start.

San Francisco resident Nghi Nguyen said every year she holds a New Year party.

"Just hoping. Like health, the most important thing, and yeah wish everything you want come true," Nguyen said.

Rain or shine, the festival will be from 11a.m. to 11.p.m on both Saturday and Sunday.

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