Madison Hmong New Year celebration highlights cultural traditions

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) – Communities across the country are gathering at the Alliant Energy Center this weekend to celebrate the Hmong New Year.

The festival, usually held around Thanksgiving, celebrates the end of the harvest season, according to organizers. Traditional Hmong dance, music, vendors and crafts will fill the halls of the center from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Chanting coordinator Kameng Thao said the celebration mimics Thanksgiving in some ways.

“We harvest everything, then we put it all together and have a big party like this,” Thao said. “Welcoming the new year like a party, you know a gathering, the whole young generation is coming together, they can meet each other, it’s a good opportunity for them to come here and meet each other.”

Thao said the festival continues to grow every year.

“This year has been different because there have been more suppliers, more competition, yes, it’s growing, and you can see it’s a lot and the line is quite busy,” Thao said.

New this year is a family activity zone that includes a playground, games and prizes, organizers said. For more information, visit the Facebook event page at

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