This year marks their 40th annual Hmong New Year celebration at Saint Paul River Center. Minnesota is home to the second largest Hmong population in the US with a community numbering over 60,000.
Have you heard or been to a Hmong New Year? People attend the event dressed in their finest traditional/modern attires. The Hmong women and men of all ages wear brightly coloured and intricately designed clothing. I personally love the traditional patterns and stitchings.
Historically the New Year event marks the end of the harvest season, when farmers can rest. It’s the time for thanksgiving, paying respects to gods and ancestors, ending the previous year and welcoming new beginnings, praying for a prosperous year ahead.
The event has now turned into a celebration of reunion. Many family celebrate outside of the annual event. The event typically has a variety of things to do from amazing Hmong food to live performances.
A traditional activity that occurs every year is ball tossing. A group of two or more standing in a line about 4-5 feet away from theirs peers who are also in a line, tossing a ball back and forth. Ball made out of traditional material and sparkly cloth or some just uses tennis ball.
If haven’t attend one, I highly recommend you attend one. It is a beautiful experience.