Lunar New Year in New Orleans


Often dubbed the Chinese New Year, in New Orleans there are many communities that celebrate the Lunar New Year, including the Vietnamese community. Visitors will find both rich Chinese and Vietnamese communities celebrating the January 28th festival, and for the Vietnamese “Tet” is one of the biggest parties of the year. New Orleans is home to one of the biggest Vietnamese populations in the U.S., and the Mary Queen of Vietnam Church offers a three-day party that’s open to all.

On the holiday weekend you’ll find carnival games, food, concerts and dragon dances with a number of traditional Vietnamese games. Every year the event gets bigger, and in Orleans Parish it all starts with a church service featuring dancing and fireworks. Entry is free, and it’s the best place to sample authentic fare.

What to Expect

The classics like pho, bánh mì and spring rolls are in abundance, and all the food booths at the church are generous in portions and fairly priced. Enjoy plenty of seating and live entertainment as you dine and dance. “Little Vietnam,” close to the church, is home to the festival grounds and even more dishes.

In Louisiana, there are a bevy of Buddhist celebrations, like those at Belle Chasse on Highway 996. It’s worth the drive and a fantastic way to keep the party going.