1. First the Hmong community has to come to an open field. In the field, the community leaders use a long shrub rope tied to a tall pole in the center. An elderly man stands next to the pole with a rooster and chants wishing good luck to all in the New Year and bad luck to disappear with the old year. All the people go around this pole three or four times for good luck.
2. At home, all families must call all their ancestors good spirit to come home with the New Year. There are eggs and boiled chicken for food; this is to make sure there are good signs of health and luck for the coming year. There are silver and gold papers to labeling all things around the house for well being of the family.
3. A huge dinner may take place in the evening. Special rice cakes with sugar and honey are treats for the young and old. It is time for the Xwm Kab Procedure (xue-ka): this procedure is for the good gods to bless a whole household. A symbol of good luck is to have a silver and gold paper hanging on the wall in the living room. It is also a time to remember all the ancestors who have passed away - burning silver and gold paper is a way to show that you send them money and honor to the heavens.
4. Early in the morning, all the men meet at the group leader's house. It is a time to ask for blessings and good luck. It is a moment to show respect to the elderly because they are being honored. An early breakfast may take place at this is a time of joy for the Hmong people.
5. When the sun starts to rise it is time for the New Year to take place; New Years day celebration is the day for new clothes, best food (noj-biab-nao-tchia), and the best wine shall be drank at each home. All visitors and relatives are welcomed to the home and town.
6. There are other activities that take place in the field. Six events may take place in about three or four days. During this time, people shall not spend money, all children shall be respectful and shall behave with manners. However, life in America is different and the weather is often cold; so each community throughout America participates in the New Year celebration on different dates.
Image on the right is the courtesy
of Peter Whittelesey
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