In lieu of the Hmong New Year being celebrated during this time for many of the communities, I wanted to share just a little more about us. Sure, you could probably find them easily out on the internet but today marks a special kick-off weekend for the Hmong Community where I live.
Hmong New Year is a celebration of history and culture. The annual event features music, dance, food, crafts and more. The county where I reside designates the first weekend of November as the Hmong New Year.
Hmong people are agricultural and the reason for this time-frame for the New Year to be celebrated is solely due to the fact that during this season, harvesting is done. Yes, it’s true for most, living in the midwest and climate change I feel as farming goes later and later now as the years’ past.
18 Clans of Hmong
Family structure revolves around the male lineage, the surname differentiates each clan. In each clan, there is a leader who coordinates and oversees relations amongst other clans. Hmong Americans are organized into an 18-clan structure. Originally there are 12 but in western society, the extras may be of the different spelling that came to be depending on where the family immigrated.
The clan names are;
The Hmong New Year
An annual celebration taking place in the fall (our first snowfall today as I write this), Hmong New Year is a time to honor ancestors and gives thanks for the completion of the harvest. In our old homeland, the New Year would last 3 days. Each day there were 10 dishes of food totaling 30 dishes, thus the Hmong saying “Noj Pebcaug”. Translating to “eat 30”, another saying for New Year.
At the celebration is where you’ll see Hmong clans come in groups dressed up in their finest Hmong attire from head to toe. The fashion changes as the years go by, vendors create more and more unique clothing and jewelry to sell.
The annual celebration where you can meet all 18 clans in one place. A place where singles can meet others from different clans for possibilities of pursuing courtship or meeting new friends, meeting up with relatives that you haven’t seen in a while or seeing how much children have grown since the last new year. A time to experience all things Hmong.
Happy New Year! “Zoo Siab Xyoo Tshiab!”