Hmong New Year festivities kicked off in Oroville, California, this weekend.
According to ABC 10, Hmong New Year is typically celebrated in December but several cities in the United States begin celebrations in the fall. Hmong people come together to honor ancestors, spirits and the year’s harvest.
Crowds gathered at the Nelson Sports Complex on October 14 and October 15 for the Oroville Hmong New Year festival, Hmong Daily News reports. It is the first in a series of festivals throughout Northern California.
The first Hmong family is believed to have settled in Oroville, a town 70 miles north of Sacramento, in the early 1980s.
The festival began with an opening ceremony featuring speeches from local dignitaries and college representatives, including those from Butte College and Chico State, who extended support and resources to the community.
Attendees were treated to traditional dance and musical performances throughout the weekend. There were also a variety of booths offering food, drinks, traditional clothing and Hmong-inspired merchandise.
Many also enjoyed volleyball matches and soccer games, while others sought refuge from the sun under nearby trees and canopies.
Several other Northern California cities will also host Hmong New Year celebrations. The Stockton New Year event is scheduled for November 11-12 at the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds. Hmong New Year in Sacramento will be held at Cal Expo from November 24-26.
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