UI to host Vietnamese Lunar New Year celebration for the community

Dancers from the UI VSA’s 2013 Lunar New Year celebration. — photo courtesy of UI VSA

Happy year of the goat!

This Saturday, Feb. 21, the UI Vietnamese Student Association (VSA) is inviting community members to a free celebration in honor of Tet, the name for the Vietnamese Lunar New Year. The event kicks off at 6 p.m. in the 2nd Floor Ballroom of the IMU.

This is one of the most important holidays in Vietnamese culture, and Jasmine Le, the president of the VSA at the University, is excited about the sense of community and renewal the occasion brings.

“The Vietnamese Lunar New Year (Tet Nguyen Dan) is typically celebrated every year in February,” Le said. “It’s a popular time for family and friend reunions to celebrate the coming of spring, as well as to wish one another good luck, health, and prosperity for the new year.”

This year, the Lunar New Year falls on Thursday, Feb. 19., and VSA is putting together entertainment and activities to commemorate the special event the following Saturday.

“We will be providing free dinner and entertainment that ranges from our students/members to our special guests Pham Thai Thanh and Duy Uyen who are well-recognized singers in Vietnam,” said Le. “In addition, we will be showcasing traditional and modern Vietnamese dance and fashion as well as provide a lion dance performance.”

This isn’t the first time the VSA has hosted a Lunar New Year celebration, which Le says has become an event that has become well-supported by the Vietnamese community.

“VSA has had a long history of providing a Tet celebration for the Vietnamese community in Iowa,” Le said. “This event typically attracts 400-plus attendees and has long been a very important holiday to members of the Iowa City community and neighboring cities. Much of our support comes from our community, and, in return, we work for months in advance ensuring our Lunar New Year turns out to be a great show for our attendees and their families.”

Admission is free and the event is open to the public. Free dinner will be provided, as well as a raffle that will take place throughout the evening.

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