Hmong traditional dating games were played during the New Year Festival over the weekend. This involved men and women each standing in a line on opposite sides of a hall, facing each other. The exchange of a small ball thrown from one side to another is used in the process of finding the right mate.
Hmong New Year Festival
The Hmong New Year Festival, put on annually by United Hmong of Massachusetts, returned to Saima Park in Fitchburg this year and received ideal weather for the traditional Hmong folklore dances, cuisine, and crafts. The Hmong community is celebrating 37 years in Massachusetts and was able to hold the festival for the first time after three years on hiatus.
FITCHBURG — Not held the past three years due to COVID, the Hmong New Year Festival is once again returning to Saima Park on Saturday and Sunday Labor Day weekend.
The festival kicks off on Sept. 2 at 10 a.m. for opening ceremonies and a ribbon-cutting with Mayor Stephen DiNatale to help officially start the celebrations. The weekend will include dancing, traditional music, sports, authentic cuisine, arts and crafts, evening entertainment and more.
Presented to the community by the United Hmong of Massachusetts, festival organizer Lisa Yang said they are very much looking forward to holding the activity-packed festival each year again.
“We celebrate this event every year but we held off the last 3 years due to COVID,” said Yang. “There will be vendors, sports, folklore dancing as well as people wearing cultural attire.”
The festival times are 8 a.m.-10 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 2 and 8 a.m.-8 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 3, both days at Saima Park, 67 Scott Road in Fitchburg. During the weekend there will be a men’s volleyball tournament, a women’s volleyball tournament as well as a cornhole tournament.