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Celebrate the Year of the Dragon at the largest Vietnamese Lunar New Year Festival in the United States! Tet is short for Tet Nguyen Dan which is the Vietnamese Lunar New Year and the most important holiday in Vietnamese culture. Tet celebrates the arrival of a new spring when families reunite. They can forget about the troubles of the previous year and look forward to a better year.
USVA Tet Festival will return to the Orange County Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa, California, on February 9, 10 and 11, 2024.
- Friday, February 9, 2024 – 4 pm to 10 pm
- Saturday, February 10, 2024 – 11 am to 10 pm
- Sunday, February 11, 2024 – 11 am to 9 pm
The festival’s theme is Hoi Long Van, depicting the story and idea of the dragon meeting the clouds. Their meeting is symbolic of prosperity and luck and the biggest dreams and hopes coming true.
The festival’s cultural village, aka Lang Viet Nam, is a replica of a traditional Vietnamese village. You’ll see galleries, exhibits and models of Vietnamese architecture.
The Tet Festival will have a spring wedding, Dam Cuoi Dau Xuan, with an actual bride and groom. The wedding will have lion dances, a traditional tea offerings to elders, a wedding procession and an actual roasted pig. Attend the spring wedding and wish the bride and the groom well.
The festival will have a number of contests. Come hungry and enter the Pho’ Eating Contest, the Watermelon Eating Contest or the Milk/Tea Drinking Contest. There is a Modern Dance Competition with talented dance teams from all over Southern California competing for cash prizes.
The Children’s Pageant is a traditional contest for children aged 4 to 11. The kids will be wearing a variety of traditional Vietnamese clothes and there will be a talent contest component in the pageant.
Other Activities at the festival include
- Ancestral Altar Procession
- Raising of the Bamboo
- 13 Card Game
- Scavenger Hunt
- Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
- Bau Cua Ca Cop
Vendors will be at the festival selling merchandise and giving information about services. Food vendors will be there selling traditional Vietnamese dishes, including
- Bun Cha
- Xoi (sticky rice)
- Goi cuan (fresh spring rolls)
- Bun bo Nam bo
- Banh Mi
- Bo Kho
Tickets are sold at the entrance and will cost $8 per person. Infants 2 years old and younger will get in free.
Only on Saturday, from 12 pm to 1 pm, there is Ceremonial Special. Attendees wearing traditional Vietnamese outfits (no religious outfits or costumes), military and scout uniforms will get in FREE!
If you liked the food at the festival and want to learn more about Vietnamese cooking, try these cookbooks. And you can use our links to see how much money you can save on them.
- Vietnamese Food Any Day by Andrea Nguyen
- An Chua: Simple Vietnamese Recipes That Taste Like Home by Julie Mai Tian
- The Pho’ Cookbook by Andrea Nguyen
- Vietnamese Made Easy: Simple. Modern Recipes For Every Day by Thuy Diam Pham
Or you could enjoy Vietnamese cuisine in the 10 Best Vietnamese Restaurants in Costa Mesa as chosen by the users of TripAdvisor.
- Bamboo Bistro
- All Lac Gourmet Vegetarian
- Brodard Chateau
- Pho’ 79
- Thuyen Vien Restaurant
- Garlic & Chives
- The Vox Kitchen
- OC & Lau Restaurant
- Bo De Tinh Tam Chay