Nyob zoo xyoo tshiab

Miss Hmong California ’09-’10, Vanne Lee.

Miss Hmong California ’09-’10, Vanne Lee.


Cal Expo

1600 Exposition Blvd.
Sacramento, CA 95815

(877) 225-3976

That’s no typo. It means “Happy new year,” if you can’t read Hmong. It’s time again to eat Hmong sausage, papaya salad and sticky rice at the annual Sacramento Hmong New Year celebration. But, more importantly, it’s the time of year for the large regional Hmong community—more than 65,000 strong in California—to unite. The festival is run by the nonprofit group Sacramento Hmong New Year Inc., which aims to produce a traditional Hmong New Year’s celebration. From sports to music and theater, the festival is a great way to connect with the lively Hmong population and culture in Sacramento. It begins with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday, November 25, at 10:30 a.m.

Though Sacramento might be a close second to Fresno in its Hmong population, there are plenty of singles with whom you can play swb pob, a flirtacious ball-tossing game. The game is a ritualized way to meet a mate of the opposite sex. Traditionally, a couple tosses a ball back and forth until one person drops it. Whoever drops or misses it must give his or her partner an ornament. If that’s too complicated, you can always register for a soccer, volleyball or football match at www.sacramentohmongnewyear.com. For those who are less physically inclined, there will also be Hmong Idol and Miss Hmong competitions to take in. All contestants must have a knowledge of the Hmong language and culture and represent a preservation of traditional Hmong values. Those contestants must also register online.

Hmong New Year is November 25-28, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Cal Expo, 1600 Exposition Boulevard. Parking costs $10, and the entrance fee is $4. For more information, call (916) 821-4576 or visit www.sacramentohmongnewyear.com.