LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Asian-American communities in Las Vegas continue to celebrate the Lunar New Year.
Despite Sunday’s high winds, dozens showed up to Our Lady of La Vang Catholic Church, near Tropicana Avenue and Pearl Street, for one of the most sacred festivals in the Vietnamese community.
The Lunar New Year is a reminder that Spring is starting, a time to forget last year's troubles.
"Because [in the] Spring, everything is blooming, hoping for a very very good new year," said Tuan Pham, the church’s event coordinator.
Father Linh Ha said it’s recognized as the most important holiday in the Vietnamese culture.
"We gather in a new year to ask God to bless the whole 12 months coming up."
Our Lady of La Vang is the only Vietnamese Catholic church in the valley.
"We have about 30,000 to 40,000 Vietnamese who live in Las Vegas," said Pham.
Several wore an áo dài, a proud symbol of the Vietnamese community.
It's a long traditional, tight-fitting silk tunic worn over the body mainly by women but men can also wear it.
The costume garment also comes with a conical leaf hat called nón lá.
"It's a thing we don't wear daily, only on Lunar New Year,” said Thuy.
She wore a beautiful, long yellow áo dài.
The Lunar New Year is celebrated with traditional dishes music, among family and friends.
"You begin the new year with a happy face and then the whole rest of the year will just come along. That's the beauty of celebrating the new year," said Father Ha.
Vietnam War veterans showed up to the event.
"I’m proud of the Vietnamese. They've assimilated very well in our world. It was a war worth winning," said Craig Mandeville.