Photos: Beautiful, young women vie for the beauty queen crown in a Tet Festival contest; a Tet Parade float and participant prepare to march down the streets of Westminster for an annual Tet Parade celebrating the Lunar New Year.
The Asian populations in California have a rich heritage dating back to the California Gold Rush era. During that time many faced discrimination and rather than find access to the gold mines (in many instances) they became the merchants–establishing laundries, restaurants and other businesses that thrived.
The heritage of Asian Californians involves both their California roots and their heritage spanning countries and lands of the Pacific Rim. Like the Irish that celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, or Germans that say “Javol” to Oktoberfest, California’s Asians celebrate Lunar New Year with a variety of celebrations that colorful and inviting. Fine silk costumes, flower decorated floats, dragon dances and tasty foods filled with healthy herbs and spices such as garlic and ginger, all make this upcoming few weeks of festivities an exciting time for those who venture out to enjoy a parade or festival.