Vietnamese Alliance of Tucson celebrates Lunar New Year

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- If your new year didn't start as well as you'd have liked and you're looking for a glimpse of hope, you might want to look to the Vietnamese Lunar New Year.

The year of the cat might be bring better luck for everyone.

Pounding drums, whimsical creatures and a tale of redemption define the lion dance.

Getting rid of the evilness and the bad luck of the past year and welcoming good luck and happiness for the new year.

"Getting rid of the evilness and the bad luck of the past year and welcoming good luck and happiness for the new year," said David Le with the Vietnamese Alliance of Tucson.

Le says the ceremony is an important part of ringing in the new lunar year.

"It brings back the memories and for the younger children to at least recognize the importance of our tradition," said Le.

Just like any other holiday, the lunar new year festival at Mansfield Middle School included lots of food.

"This is called Banh Bao and it has a little stuffing inside, so it has pork meat, egg," said Mai Ly of the Vietnamese Alliance of Tucson.

"It's usually homemade or something.  Well it's just that I've never seen stuff before and i like to try new things," said a couple celebration guests.

When you're not taking in the entertainment, or testing your palette, you can admire the traditional Vietnamese attire.

"This dress right here is a Ao Dai. Usually they wear them for weddings or special occasions like holidays," said Christine Le from the UA Vietnamese Student Association.

Sunday's celebration marked the end of the year of the tiger and the beginning of year of the cat.

Many believe it will be an era of prosperity.

"The tiger is more forceful but the cat is very gentle so hopefully we will have a very nice year," said guest Sue Sigmund.

The celebration was Sunday, but the lunar new year is actually February 3, next Thursday.