As Asian Americans usher in the Lunar New Year Friday, the usual festivities are out.
In Orange County, visibly absent this year is the colorful Vietnamese Tet parade. (Last year, there were even two.) Ditto in places like Los Angeles and San Gabriel, which plan to hold virtual events to mark the new year celebrated in the Chinese, Vietnamese, Taiwanese and Korean communities.
Instead of live parades and multi-day festivals, the new year will for the most part be fêted quietly across Southern California. COVID-19, however, has not dampened the holiday spirit.
“The new year spirit is still here despite the pandemic,” said Hacienda Heights resident Sung Kim, a Korean immersion language teacher at Cedar Lane Academy.
Especially after the hardships of 2020, everyone is looking forward to a new beginning, said Kim, president of the International Korean Educators Network. “We have hope for the new year, with vaccines, a new government and new president and efforts to clear…