HMONG PEOPLE FROM around the Stockton area gathered with their families at the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds recently to celebrate the New Year and Hmong culture with food, dance competitions, volleyball and more.
Hmong people are an indigenous group from East and Southeast Asian countries such as China, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and Myanmar. The Nov. 11-12 event at the fairgrounds attracted a colorful array of traditional clothing from the visitors’ countries of origin.
While the New Year is traditionally celebrated over three or four days at the end of December, the holiday is observed between November and December among the Hmong people living in the United States.
The next major Hmong New Year celebration can be found in Sacramento at Cal Expo from Nov. 24-26 and is among the largest of the celebrations in the United States.
Harika Maddala is a photojournalist based in Stockton covering San Joaquin County for Bay City News Foundation and its nonprofit news site Local News Matters. They are a Report for America corps member and a CatchLight Local Fellow.