With the Vietnamese New Year just a few days away, the Vietnamese Students Association is busy preparing for the bright and joyous festival.Tet, the Vietnamese New Year, falls on Feb. 1 this year and is by far the most significant holiday for the people of Vietnamese descent.

Preparation for Tet starts several days before, when the house is cleaned and decorated and food is prepared. Firecrackers and gongs usher in the New Year and the Tet celebrations last for a week. People visit family and friends, children honor their teachers and everyone prays for prosperity and good health. According to the Vietnamese Zodiac, 2003 is the year of the sheep.

This year the UR VSA is holding Tet celebrations in collaboration with the Rochester Institute of Technology. “Our collaboration was a result of both a mutual desire for a large event to celebrate the New Year and the fact that each of our small organizations could not do this show alone,”senior Quang Luong and president of the VSA at UR said.

The main event of the VSA Lunar New Year Celebration is the Miss Ao Dai Pageant, which is a celebration commemorating the beauty of the traditional Vietnamese long dress. The pageant will also feature talent and interview sections. Other performances at the show will include a Dragon Dance, live musical acts and guest dance performances. The VSA hopes to draw a large diverse crowd from UR, area colleges and from the Rochester community to celebrate the New Year with them.

Make sure you join in. The show starts at 7 p.m. in Strong Auditorium with an after party in Douglass to follow. Tickets for the show are $6 at the Common Market or $7 at the door, and $2 for the after party at the door.

Bharadwaj can be reached at abharadwaj@campustimes.org.

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