Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta

  • Connie Pyo, holding the microphone, served as mistress of ceremonies during a Lunar New Year celebration that followed the 10 a.m. Mass at St. Andrew Kim Church, Duluth, Jan. 26. Six-year-old Alexis Turner shares some words as a fellow youngster and senior females of the parish take the stage wearing the traditional Korean dress known as a hanbok. Photo By Michael Alexander
  • Members of the Song family bow before the special altar set up for the celebration of the Lunar New Year at St. Andrew Kim Church, Duluth. The gesture pays homage to ancestors and deceased relatives. Photo By Michael Alexander
  • (Sitting on the stage, foreground to background) St. Andrew Kim Church parochial vicar Father Juchan Kim and pastor Father Kolbe Man Young Chung distribute envelopes, enclosed with a two-dollar bill, to the children for good luck in the New Year. Photo By Michael Alexander
  • Father Kolbe Man Young Chung, left center, pastor of St. Andrew Kim Church, Duluth, and parochial vicar Father Juchan Kim pose for a photograph with some of the children during a Jan. 26 Lunar New Year celebration at the parish. Photo By Michael Alexander

Connie Pyo, holding the microphone, served as mistress of ceremonies during a Lunar New Year celebration that followed the 10 a.m. Mass at St. Andrew Kim Church, Duluth, Jan. 26. Six-year-old Alexis Turner shares some words as a fellow youngster and senior females of the parish take the stage wearing the traditional Korean dress known as a hanbok. Photo By Michael Alexander


Atlanta

Asian Catholics mark Lunar New Year with Masses, festivals

By ANDREW NELSON, Staff Writer | Published febrero 6, 2020

ATLANTA—Asian Catholics who celebrate the Lunar New Year gathered with friends and family for lion dances, traditional native food and honored community elders.

A standing room only crowd at Our Lady of Vietnam Church, Riverdale, worshipped Sunday, Jan. 26, on the second of a two-day cultural festival. The 2020 Lunar New Year began on Jan. 25.

A girl pets the lion during the Jan. 26 Vietnamese New Year celebration, commonly known as Tết, at Our Lady of Vietnam Church, Riverdale. Photo By Andrew Nelson

Ear-splitting fireworks to scare away evil spirits kicked off the party. Young people hidden under the richly decorated lion costumes paraded on stage to dance.

Bishop Bernard E. Shlesinger III, the main celebrant for the Mass, was among the many people who handed dancers a red envelope. A red envelope usually contains money or other gift given on special occasions.

Surrounding the cultural celebration were booths selling native Vietnamese dishes, including crab and tomato broth noodle soup, duck eggs and rice paper salad. The community hall was converted into a children’s arcade where youngsters competed in games built around the theme of the Year of the Rat.

The Lunar New Year celebrationaff Writer stretches for days in the Asian community. There are churches in the Archdiocese of Atlanta serving Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean Catholics.

A special altar is set up for the celebration of the Lunar New Year, Jan. 26, at St. Andrew Kim Church, Duluth. Photo By Michael Alexander

At St. Andrew Kim Church, Duluth, the new year began with Korean traditions.

Following Mass, one of those traditions is called “sebae,” when young people gather to bow to the senior members of the community.

Connie Pyo, who served as emcee, said the Lunar New Year always begins with this family custom in Korea. To bow is to show appreciation to elders for the past year, said Pyo, as people pray to God for their continued health.

The celebration also included a traditional Korean clothing contest, where winners received small gifts of a bag of rice, sesame oil and pepper paste used to flavor food, Pyo said.