Saturday, June 10

Vietnamese community in Savannah celebrates Lunar New Year

Members of the Thunderbolt Baptist Church dole out bánh tét, a sticky rice and mung bean roll that is often dipped in sugar when eaten.  It is a Lunar New Year staple for the Vietnamese community.

Clusters of yellow flowers, or hoa mai in Vietnamese, adorn the front of the sanctuary at Thunderbolt Baptist Church. Approximately forty members of the congregation sing in the pews while those on stage celebrate the Lunar New Year with hymns in their native language.

For Asian cultures that celebrate the Lunar New Year, which falls on February 1 this year, it is the most anticipated holiday. But like many holidays, the celebration was curtailed last year due to the pandemic and hasn’t returned to its full glory.

Plus:Lunar New Year 2022: What does the holiday and the Year of the Tiger represent?

A stack of bánh tét, sticky rice rolls wrapped in banana leaves, could have been 200 rolls tall before the pandemic. This year, only about 40 of the treats were made. But that doesn’t mean she has missed out on the Christmas feeling, said Christiana Phan, 22, who has attended church since she was a child.

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