Little Saigon kicks off the Year of the Tiger

Many felt it was the perfect way to celebrate with loved ones, all while kicking off the new year with a fresh start.
GARDEN GROVE, Calif. (KABC) -- Tradition came to life in Little Saigon on Tuesday with an outdoor Lunar New Year celebration outside Advance Beauty College.

The president and owner of the college, Tam Nguyen, is also the co-founder of Nailing It for America.

The Vietnamese American professionals of the organization helped bring together the Asian community, especially those in the nail and restaurant industries, to help frontline workers during the pandemic. The group rallied people to stand up against hate targeting the Asian American and Asian Pacific Islander communities.

Nguyen said after nearly two years of the pandemic, welcoming the Year of the Tiger was very appropriate.

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"A tiger represents strength and courage, and we've been resilient as a community, as a Vietnamese and Asian community and as an industry ... the nails and small business industry," Nguyen said.

The day came with wishes from all for less devastation and more joy.

Thanh Havo who was at the event on Tuesday celebrating with her daughter, Quynh Anh Dang Vo, said she hoped for a future without COVID, where people could be "happy together and work together."

The beauty of traditional Vietnamese attire was in full display in a fashion show filled with gorgeous Ao Dais. Many felt it was a good time with loved ones while starting fresh. The afternoon was filled with family values, culture, and of course, lucky envelopes filled with cash to bring good luck, good health, happiness and prosperity.

Dang Vo explained what she does with the crisp bills inside.

"Usually, spend them, but then my mom won't let me so, I have to put it in my piggy bank," she said.

Lynn Nghiem said it was an opportunity to give elders the honor of passing along traditions to younger generations.

"If you value your culture, right, other people will respect you. So you don't forget your roots," Nghiem said.

The event ended with a dragon dance and fire crackers to ward off evil spirits.

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