What is Tet?
The lunar new year (春節 in Chinese, “tết” in Vietnamese) is the most important celebration of many Asian communities, including those from China, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Tibet, Macau, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Korea, Bhutan, Mongolia and Japan (before 1873).
The lunar new year marks the arrival of spring based on the lunar calendar, and features many customs such as giving thanks, worshiping ancestors and wishing New Year’s Greetings to others.
People celebrate the lunar new year by visiting their relatives, temples, and attending festivals where they let go of the troubles of the past year and hope for a better new year.
Celebratory features of the lunar new year can also be seen in the forms of dragon and lion dances, firecrackers, pageantry, songs, games, a lot of food–and of course, the giving and spending of money.
Who are we?
The Little Saigon Foundation of San Diego (LSF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to develop the Little Saigon District of San Diego by revitalizing infrastructure in the district, promoting Vietnamese culture and tourism in the area, and engaging youth, residents, and businesses in civic responsibilities.
What do we do?
To fulfill our mission, we cordially invite you to attend the San Diego Lunar New Year Festival at SDCCU (Qualcomm) Stadium, scheduled on February 1-3, 2019. The Lunar New Year is an important Asian holiday that has been celebrated for thousands of years throughout the world, especially in Asia. 2019 marks the Year of the Pig, a sincere and brave animal that represents honesty, intelligence, and reliability. Pig’s positive enthusiastic energy and easygoing nature will make for an exciting festival as we continue our mission to revitalize San Diego’s Little Saigon Cultural and Commercial District. The festival will include an array of exotic food stations, unique vendor booths, cultural village, non-stop live entertainment and concerts, dog costume contest, Pho eating contest, plus traditional martial arts demonstrations and Lion Dance performances and firecrackers shows. It is also one of the only events in the county offering diverse carnival rides appropriate for all ages.
Why do we do it?
The last festival attracted more than 27,000 attendees and more than 250 volunteers. It has allowed us to not only celebrate San Diego’s diversity, but also expand the scope of our revitalization efforts within the Little Saigon District of San Diego. For example, the previous SD Lunar New Year festivals have contributed directly to the following community benefits:
2015 – Through a series of public (community) forums and workshops, the Little Saigon District 10 Years Vision Plan is the collaboration of expectations and future vision that business owners, residences, and community’s leaders hope to achieve for the District.
2016 – The implementation of the first projects from the 10 Years Vision Plan: Little Saigon Heritage Flag Pole. Although this is still underway, significant progress has been made, such as the completion of the engineering, planning, and design of the LS Heritage Flag Pole, and the application process of the use permit.
2017 – The production and installation of cultural banners and 8 custom-built branding trash cans to simultaneously brand the district and promote environmental responsibility.
2018 – 2 Cultural Landmark signs on Interstate 15 freeway – the latest effort to brand the Little Saigon Cultural and Commercial District in City Heights as a destination
Other events hosted by our organization included the Mid-Autumn Festival, the Little Saigon Business Owners VIP Mixer, and the Fall of Saigon Commemoration. Additionally, we collaborated with District 9 and Business Improvement Districts (BID) to host El Cajon Boulevard Tours featuring the Little Saigon District and attracted more board members to strengthen our partnership with other organizations within and surrounding the district.
Looking towards the New Year, we have several ongoing projects besides the Lunar New Year Festival, which include the Heritage Flag Pole, more branded trash cans, and at least one monument erected within the district boundaries. As usual, we will be especially focused on the civic engagement and social services promoting entrepreneurship and financial responsibility on linguistically-isolated individuals.