Hello, my name is See Vang, and I am a Librarian at the Saint Paul Public Library. This month, we will be sharing stories of different artists, musicians, and performers as they share what Hmong New Year means to them. To me, Hmong New Year is a time to come together as a family in our home, and a time to dress up in our Hmong clothes to attend the annual party at the RiverCentre.
Hmong New Year at home is a time we come together as a family to hu plig, reunite our souls with our bodies. We feast to celebrate the reunion and coming together of the family. The house is busy, bustling with noise from every corner. The children are playing and chatting, while the older men are teaching the younger men how to soul call and give offerings to the ancestors. The ladies of the house are in the kitchen cooking pots of delicious food to replenish our bodies for the new year. For the next 3 days, we are told to not spend any money, not argue with your spouse, wake up early, and start new healthy habits.
It is also a time that I like to dress my family up in Hmong clothes for annual family photos and to attend the annual Hmong New Year celebration at the RiverCentre. I love going through my Hmong clothes, and trying on the different pieces that were finely stitched by my mother’s hands. I especially love seeing my kids dressed up in the fine Hmong clothes that my mom has made for them. I remember, growing up, my mom would spend time sewing my clothing pieces every day after her 8-hour shift at the manufacturing company, ensuring the outfit would be completed in time for me to wear to the event.
While it’s difficult to not be able to come together at the RiverCentre to celebrate what would have been the 42nd Hmong New Year Celebration in Saint Paul, this year offers us a unique opportunity for all of Saint Paul to experience a part of the Hmong New Year together. I warmly invite you to celebrate the new year with us as we speak with local authors, share in one family’s soul calling tradition and more. We will also feature the multi-talented David Yang as he presents original performances and shares some of his favorite music selections and Hmong New Year traditions.
Nyob zoo xyoo tshiab.