This past week was the beginning of the Lunar New Year, the Year of the Horse, and Falls Church's Eden Center held their Tet Festival all weekend long. The event had dragon dances, drums, face painting, Miss Vietnam DC, and a whole heck of a lot of firecrackers...like...seriously...A LOT.
Eden Center cleared out one street from their parking lot, and a large crowd of a few hundred people circled around the festivities.
Everyone was enjoying the celebration, and if you had ears, you paid. To celebrate they would roll out 30 yard long rolls of firecrackers, two side by side, and then light them both on the one end. The loud cracking and smoke billowed all the way down the parking area as the two rolls raced each other down the line. Here's a brief video of the dragon dance (sideways because I'm bad at phones)
Imagine that for an hour straight! In the beginning, while the cracking echoed off the shopping center, there were drums beating, music playing, and dragons dancing. Once that was over, the fireworks continued...and continued...and continued.
Despite the children covering their ears, everyone was having fun celebrating the Year of the Horse with help from an Emcee. Miss Vietnam DC was there with some other pageant girls taking photos with everyone and wishing them good luck and love in the new year. Vietnamese music played in between firecracker explosions. There was even a guy (not having too much fun sweating...I've been there before) in a horse mascot outfit. Eden Center also got the crowd excited by passing out free coffee mugs to everyone.
The one thing that everyone who attended noticed was the parking situation. The entire parking lot is narrow in the first place, and every single spot was filled. In fact, people started making their own parking spots, parking next to random curbs, and even closing up "thru-streets" by double parking. It took me 5 minutes to get out and I was right next to the entrance.
That was my first visit to Eden Center and I have yet to check out any of the shops and restaurants. I look forward to returning on a less crowded day. Happy New Year!
For more pictures, check out some of Miss Vietnam's pics.