Tet -- the Year of the Dog
We celebrated the Lunar New Year on the evening of the First Sunday of Lent. Normally Lent is not a celebratory time for us with treats. But in the Liturgical calendar, the Sundays of Lent are not strictly considered Lent. This is because every Sunday is a "little Easter" commemorating the Resurrection.
First step is to pick up some snacks of Vietnamese treats: young coconut (we had some home made this year), jack fruit, lotus seeds, sesame seed cakes, ginger candy, nuts (peanuts or cashews), and good old American popcorn. Then we take a "lucky envelope" off of our special yellow Vietnamese tree.
|Sr. Mary Therese reads us the character traits of "dog" people.|
You can see our Vietnamese tree and the red envelopes behind her
We then enjoy a beautiful dance, usually performed by the Sisters in the Novitiate. This year they carried candles in each hand and it was very beautiful. Sometimes they use umbrellas or hats or other objects.
The envelope contains real money given us by friends and relatives. With the money we were able to "buy" tickets to play the various games. Each year the games are different because they are made up to fit the theme of the New Year. But the last game is always the same, and the most difficult.
We have a large (6 inch square) "die" with animals on the 6 sides. After the cube is thrown up in the air and crashes, if our tickets match the animal on top, we win. Finally, with our accumulated tickets we redeem them for prizes.