Members of Orange County's Vietnamese community will gather at Santa Ana's Centennial Park Saturday and Sunday to mark the beginning of their new year with traditional food, entertainment and contests.
The park is at 3000 W. Edinger Ave. Festival hours are 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday. The annual Tet festival saluting the new lunar year is sponsored by the Union of Vietnamese Students Assn. of Southern California.
Wednesday is the first day of the Chinese lunar year which is shared by the Koreans and Vietnamese. The lunar calendar is divided into 12 months of 29 or 30 days. The calendar is adjusted to the length of the solar year by the addition of extra months at regular intervals.
The years are arranged in major cycles of 60 years. Each successive year is named after one of 12 animals. Wednesday, marks the beginning of the Year of the Dragon.
Wednesday also is Ash Wednesday, first day of Lent as observed by the Roman Catholic Church, as well as the Anglican, Lutheran and some other Protestant churches. Information on services can be obtained through the individual churches.