A good reason to head out into the cold this weekend: Mary Queen of Vietnam church, 14001 Dwyer Blvd in New Orleans East, will celebrate Tet on Jan. 30 from 6 to 11 p.m., from noon to 11 p.m. on Jan. 31 and on Feb. 1 from noon to 10 p.m. Tet is short for Tet Nguyen Dan, the celebration of the lunar new year central to Vietnamese culture. Read more about Tet here…one cool aspect of the new year celebration is an offering to the Kitchen God, a traditional god of the hearth who is said to live in your kitchen behind the stove.
The celebration at Mary Queen of Vietnam is a classic church festival in the south Louisiana mold: tents, picnic tables, cover bands, little kids with noisemakers and silly string, carnival games, free can cozies with bank logos, tireless volunteers bustling about to feed the masses…..except it offers delicious, freshly prepared Vietnamese foods. Pho, spring rolls, imperial rolls, grilled meats, deep-fried bananas, bahn mi, as well as arts & crafts, and a chance to see what New Orleans’ recovery could look like if the region’s leadership were as well-organized as this church parish.
Celebrate the Year of the Ox (or buffalo); the Ox symbolizes hard work and industry, appropriate in a down economy.