BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Loud firecrackers, ringing bells, brightly colored costumes and dancing! It was a day of celebration Saturday at the Vietnamese Martyr Catholic Church in Biloxi as people rang in the lunar new year.
It was the annual Tet celebration to ring in the Year of the Dog. The new year celebrations kicked off February 16th and typically last more than two weeks. Traditionally - the celebrations include an explosion of light and sound that with elaborate dragon costumes, bell ringing, firecrackers, and traditional lion dances.
Tet is the most important celebration in Vietnamese culture, symbolizing the arrival of spring based on the lunar calendar. The lunar new year is celebrated mostly in East Asian cultures, including the Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Mongolian, Tibetan and Vietnamese cultures.
The lunar calendar moves in a 12-year cycle with each year being represented by a different animal. However, even though there are 12 animals, each of the animals have a different variety. For example, 2018 is the year of the "earth" dog, which last happened in 1958.