Celebrating Tet

Sunday evening we had our traditional Tet celebration here in Lufkin. Although the actual date was January 28. Our organizer for the event, Sr. Mary Christine, was in Trinidad, so we had to wait until her return.

First, of course, is to get our Vietnamese treats and \”Lucky Envelope\”–which contains gift money. In the end, it all goes to our Bursar/Treasurer.

Second, the nuns huddle around the gift table to see what is available to \”buy\” with the tickets they receive for winning the New Year games.

We usually have 3 games. The first two pertain to the animal character being celebrated during the coming year–2017 is the Year of the Rooster, so you can see our games were appropriate. Then, we always end with a traditional Vietnamese game of tossing a very large die with animal figures on it.

Using chopsticks, which some of the nuns have never done before, the sister must peck in the sand to find the worm. For each worm found, one receives a ticket. The worms were pieces of nylon cord we use to make rosaries. A few sisters pecked 3, 4 and even 5 worms within the allotted 1 minute.

In the second game, the sister must hold two large pieces of cardboard resembling the rooster\’s beak. With the beak she must pick up 5 plastic loops and carry them to a post.

The Sisters thoroughly enjoyed the games this year. Usually they are so difficult very few can win, but these were a bit easier and lots of fun.

We learned that our sisters also celebrated Tet at the Monastery in Trinidad, teaching the nuns of its cultural importance. Of course, the nuns in Trinidad knew of Chinese/Asian New Year, because for years they have been hearing the music from the \”Chinese Association\” which is next door to them. Sister Mary Christine and Postulant Jasette made the treats, especially the delicious young colored coconut.

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