Photo: Left to right: Dc. Eddie, Bro. Dan, Fr. Miguel, Bro. Sal, Fr. John, Bro. Tom, Dc. Juan Paolo, bro. Ky, Bro. Quang, Fr. Frank.
(Orange, N.J. – February 13) – It is a blessing to have multiple cultures living under one roof. We all get to appreciate our cultures by sharing and celebrating them. Thus we celebrated the lunar new year – the Year of Pig!
Every year, during Tet (lunar new year) families from afar gather back at their hometowns to celebrate as a big family. In the tradition, there are three main days to celebrate the lunar new year. The first day of new year is dedicated for the immediate families to gather to give thanks to God for all the blessings He has given to the families. On the second day, the families go to visit their relatives and in-laws and exchange blessings. The third day is for everyone to visit close friends, neighbors, teachers, and acquaintances to exchange blessings. After these three days, the celebration continues for the rest of the month.
Every year, the young people always look forward to lunar new year, which is a chance for them to go to their parents, grandparents, and relatives to wish that in the new year they may receive abundant blessings, luck, prosperity, happiness, and good health. After the wishes and blessings, the youngsters receive li xi (the red envelope/lucky money).
On Thursday, February 9, our community in Orange celebrated Tet with festivity. The Vietnamese confreres prepared the meal, cooking pho (Vietnamese soup), goi (Vietnamese salad), and egg rolls. Dinner was followed by the traditional good wishes, symbolized by the youngest confreres’ address to the older confreres of the community. Bro. Quang Nguyen and the brothers in formation wished Bro. Sal Sammarco and the other formators an abundant year with God’s blessings, luck, good health, joy, prosperity, etc. Afterwards Bro. Sal distributed the li xi to all the members of the community. Then Bros. Ky Nguyen, Damien Ho, and Quang Nguyen, and candidate Francis Nguyen sang a song for the community called “Ly Ruou Mung,” a Vietnamese song that talks about the celebration of the lunar new year. At the end of the evening, we shared the laughter, enjoyment, and fun of the celebration as a community.
I also take this opportunity to wish all the members of the Salesian Family an abundance of blessings from God, good health, joy, and prosperity in this new year!