New Years unites culture

On Hmong New Years, students gather together to meet people, catch up with friends, and spend time with family

For those who celebrate Hmong New Year it means more than just a new diet. As the harvest season comes to an end, new beginnings start to open up. According to HCCA Hmong New Year is the idea that families could put up their harvesting tools and throw on their traditional clothing to celebrate the end of harvest season and the beginning of a new year.

Senior Npai Vang says that Hmong New Year is very big in her family, from dressing up in the cultural wear to going out to the different events, she says she enjoys it much more than American New Years. She said there are many activities that go on at these events, such as dancing, ball tossing, and singing.

“These different events are more than just celebrating Hmong New Year,” Vang said. “It’s a good time to catch up with family or find you someone to marry.”

Vang went onto say that during Hmong New Year a man could approach a woman by asking for her last name to show a sign of interest.

Unlike American New Year, which is only held on one day, Hmong New Year is held on various different days in different locations each week. At each event Vang says that there is a certain traditional apparel that the men and woman could wear that represents them as an individual and their culture.

Even though there are many things going on in one day Vang says she enjoys the overall experience whenever she attends the event.

“My favorite part about the whole thing is getting to eat Hmong food that I don’t get to eat on a daily basis,” Vang said. “And being able to see family you haven’t seen in awhile.”

Although Vang is very engaged in the celebration of Hmong New Years, for senior Abby Thao the event is a chance to learn more about her culture in which she says she takes a lot of pride in.

“I feel like older Hmong people enjoy it more because it’s a time of coming together and teaching the young people about the culture,” Thao said.

Just as Vang, Thao says some of her family members also dress in the traditional attire to leave an impression. It’s not just the clothing that leaves an impression, but she says the day itself means very much to her and her family because it’s like carry a legacy of the culture through each generation.

“Unlike American New Years we actually learn so much,” Thao said. “Our culture is fairly unknown so Hmong New Year helps spread it around and help make it more known.”

Yet, between men and woman, Hmong New Years could be celebrated differently. Senior Xeng Vang says for him it’s more of letting the bad luck out and bring the good luck in.

“Usually there’s different festivals going on, but my uncles and I go hunting instead,” Vang said. “We wear different clothes before and after we hunt so that we could release any bad energy.

Vang said his favorite part about the event is getting to meet other people and just enjoy having a good time with his family. He also said that there are different booths throughout the event that are selling things like food, clothes and drinks.

“It isn’t just for Hmong people,” Vang said. “All ethnicities could come out and just have a good time celebrating the new year.