Hmong New Year celebrations begin at fairgrounds

FRESNO, Calif.

Wednesday is day one of the festivities.

Thousands of people came dressed in the colorful coats representing the various clans within the culture to enjoy Hmong foods, dance and music.

Papaya is the popular dish of choice with each booth competing for the title of best papaya salad.

There's also egg rolls, fried pork and Hmong sausage as well as jewelry, clothing and hats.

And while more than a hundred thousand people are expected to celebrate a successful year of farming and welcome the new year, the Hmong youth tell me the event is also a way to socialize, make new friends an even meet potential spouse.

And they say one way to do that is to participate in a playful game of ball toss.

"The reason they have that is so the young men and women can talk together after the harvest, they come together and find your loved one- you never know what's going to happen," Chuck Lee of Fresno said.

The Hmong New Year celebrations run from now until Jan. 1.

This year there will be a mixed martial art showcase, beauty pageants, dance competitions.

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