The Tet Festival is a significant cultural event in the Vietnamese community that celebrates the Lunar New Year. This festival is usually held in late January or early February, and it is a time when families and friends come together to celebrate the beginning of a new year. San Jose, California, has a large Vietnamese population, and the Tet Festival is one of the most anticipated events of the year.
The Meaning of Tet
Tet is the shortened name for Tet Nguyen Dan, which means “Feast of the First Morning of the First Day.” The Tet Festival is a time to honor ancestors, pay respect to elders, and welcome the new year with good fortune and prosperity. The Vietnamese believe that the colors and traditions associated with Tet will bring them luck throughout the year.
History of Tet Festival in San Jose
The first Tet Festival in San Jose was held in 1983, and it has since become an annual event. The festival attracts thousands of visitors every year who come to enjoy the food, music, and entertainment. The festival has grown over the years and now features a variety of cultural displays, dragon dances, and traditional games.
Activities at the Tet Festival
The Tet Festival in San Jose is a three-day event that is held at the Eastridge Mall. The festival features a variety of activities for people of all ages. Some of the most popular activities include:
- Dragon and lion dances
- Traditional Vietnamese music and dance performances
- Cultural displays
- Vendor booths selling Vietnamese food and souvenirs
- Children’s activities such as face painting and balloon twisting
- Traditional games such as bamboo stick jumping and tug-of-war
Food at the Tet Festival
The Tet Festival is known for its delicious food, and visitors can expect to indulge in a variety of traditional Vietnamese dishes. Some of the most popular foods at the festival include:
- Pho – a traditional Vietnamese noodle soup
- Banh mi – a Vietnamese sandwich
- Banh xeo – a savory Vietnamese pancake
- Go cuon – fresh spring rolls
- Com tam – broken rice with grilled pork or chicken
- Cha gio – deep-fried spring rolls
Getting to the Tet Festival
The Tet Festival in San Jose is held at the Eastridge Mall, which is located at 2200 Eastridge Loop, San Jose, CA 95122. Visitors can park in the mall parking lot or take public transportation to the festival. The festival is easily accessible via the VTA bus system.
Admission and Hours
Admission to the Tet Festival is free, but some activities and food vendors may require payment. The festival is typically held over a weekend, and the hours of operation are:
- Friday: 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM
- Saturday: 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM
- Sunday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
What to Bring to the Tet Festival
Visitors to the Tet Festival should bring comfortable shoes, as they will be doing a lot of walking. They should also bring cash for food and other purchases, as not all vendors may accept credit cards. It is also a good idea to bring a camera to capture the colorful and engaging displays at the festival.
The Tet Festival in San Jose is an excellent opportunity to experience Vietnamese culture and traditions. Visitors can enjoy delicious food, watch cultural performances, and participate in traditional games and activities. The festival is a celebration of the new year and a time to bring good luck and fortune to all who attend.