Photo depicting the interior of Little Saigon Creative festively decorated and filled with event attendees.

PHOTO ESSAY | A Celebration of Vietnamese New Year (Tết) at Little Saigon Creative

by Ronnie Estoque


On Saturday, Jan. 14, local community members gathered at the Little Saigon Creative to celebrate the Vietnamese Lunar New Year (Tết). The event was organized by Friends of Little Sài Gòn, an organization focused on centering Vietnamese culture and advocacy in the community. Mak Fai Kung Fu performed a lion dance and was followed up by a workshop where event attendees learned how to make bánh tét — a traditional Vietnamese Lunar New Year dish made with glutinous rice, mung beans, and pork wrapped in banana leaves. The workshop was led by instruction from Yenvy Pham, co-owner of Hello Em Cafe & Roastery and owner of  Phở Bắc Restaurants; Trinh Nguyen, owner of Ba Sa Restaurant; and Theresa Cat Vu, founder and owner of  Phở Bắc Restaurants.

The following day, the celebration continued at the Little Saigon Creative with an all-day Lunar New Year Marketplace that featured festive-themed items as well as folk melodies played on traditional Vietnamese instruments by the Hướng Việt Performing Arts Group.

Photo depicting Mak Fai Kung Fu in their lion dance performance attire posing outside of a blue building.
Mak Fai Kung Fu poses for a group photo following their lion dance performance outside of the Little Saigon Creative. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)
Photo depicting a little black dog dressed in a lion dance costume.
A festive dog poses for a photo inside the Little Saigon Creative. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)
Photo depicting Nghia Bui speaking with a customer.
Nghia Bui, co-owner of Hello Em Cafe & Roastery, speaks with a customer. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)
Photo depicting Theresa Cat Vu giving a workshop as a group of attendees look on.
Bánh tét workshop attendees gather around as Theresa Cat Vu (middle) provides instruction. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)
Photo depicting a woman wearing a red shirt filming workshop instructions.
A bánh tét workshop attendee video records the instructions on their phone. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)
Photo depicting a table spread with banh tet ingredients ready to be constructed.
Each bánh tét workshop attendee was provided the ingredients pictured above. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)

Ronnie Estoque is a South Seattle-based freelance photographer and videographer. You can keep up with his work by checking out his website.

📸 Featured Image: The Little Saigon Creative was full of event attendees that showed up for the various programming organized by Friends of Little Saigon. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)

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