SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) – Large crowds gathered at South Bay in San Jose to ring in the lunar new year.
This despite the request from health authorities to stay at home to prevent the spread of COVID.
There was a large crowd celebrating the lunar new year, and while people seemed a little too close together, most wore masks.
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In the heart of San Jose’s Little Saigon neighborhood.
People gathered in the Grand Century Mall on Saturday and ushered in the year of the ox – one blast after another.
“That’s what the new year is all about. Have fun, listen to crackers and play, good food, good people. “
As night owls packed the mall’s parking lots, staff and visitors say this is the busiest in a year.
“Not many people are coming out because of the pandemic, but because of the lunar new year they are coming out today.”
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“Usually there are events going on right now where lions are dancing such things,” said Andrew Tran. “We’re still making it happen regardless of everything, and we’re still trying to celebrate our culture.”
The New Year festival usually attracts thousands of people. Santa Clara County is home to the largest Vietnamese community outside of Vietnam.
Also known as Tet for Vietnamese culture, the New Year celebrations are considered to be the main festival and holiday in Vietnam.
Many celebrations were canceled or scaled back this year.
Public health officials visited the website earlier this week and urged the community to follow health guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID.
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“We all wear face masks outside, as you know, to keep me comfortable.”
Meanwhile, about five miles away, a much quieter New Years celebration.
Churches and temples are limited to 20 percent of capacity.
Temperature checks were carried out before entering the Buddhist temple of Pao Hua.
Members who leave the Year of the Rat behind.
Santa Clara County has seen an increase in COVID cases after Thanksgiving and Christmas and is hoping to see no further increase after the New Year celebrations. And on day two of Lunar New, based on the crowded parking lots, you can see why health officials are concerned about another spike.