February 09, 2005

Te^'t 2005 (Lunar New Year)

My parents were never big fans of allowing us to take days off from school for whatever reason, but Te^'t was the one holiday each year that we were expected to be home. Like every family, we have our own Te^'t traditions. We wake up super early to have my mom's Ba'nh Chung, afterwards we wear our ao dai's and have a little li` xi` wish giving and receiving with my parents. Then we all pile into the minivan and drive 2 hours to the Linh Son Buddhist Congregation in Stanhope. It's a great tradition for us, falling asleep in the back of the car while my dad drives only to arrive at this tiny hillside town of Stanhope. The Linh Song congregation took over the church that used to serve the town - what a funny thought - a Buddhist temple in a former Christian clapboard church. I always wonder what the neighbors think when hordes of Vietnamese dressed in their finest descend upon the town for Te^'t. Before Guilliani banned fireworks in Chinatown we used to come into NYC for the festivities. Now that Bloomberg has brought them back... we know what we'll be doing next Te^'t!

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