The Hmong New Year celebration has existed for thousands of years and in recent years has changed considerably. The heritage of this unique celebration was celebrated on the last day of the 12th Lunar Moon each year. Hmong ancestors celebrated this event in their native country of Laos through these various traditional rituals:
Since immigration to the United States and for the past 32 years, the Hmong population has celebrated their annual New Year in Merced County. Many traditional and cultural activities have changed, particularly for the younger generation. The original purpose of the Hmong New Year celebration was to gather family and friends together for days of rest and relaxation; to bring young generations together; and to call for a prosperous New Year. The New Year celebration is a most important time for the Hmong population and is a very special event in the social lives of the Hmong in Merced County.
The New Year celebration continues to be held each December and draws approximately 5,000 attendees per day from all over the world. Festivities include ball tossing, sporting tournaments, cultural shows, pageantry, merchant vendors, and many more.