This past weekend, the Vietnamese Catholic Church of Orlando, St Philip Phan van minh hosted their annual Vietnamese New Year Festival at the Central Florida Fairgrounds for 2015 – the year of the goat/sheep. The actual Lunar New Year is not till Thursday February 19th this year so there are still lots of great events to come. (See Guide to Celebrating Chinese/Vietnamese New Year Festivals in Orlando Post for the lowdown).

Here are 39 photos showing why the Vietnamese New Year Festival rocks:

Entrance to the Festival
Entrance to the Festival – here, a recreation of the famous Cho Ben Thanh market in Saigon, Vietnam
The festival is fun for the entire family - here in the background, a recreation of Cho Ben Thanh Market in Saigon, Vietnam
The festival is fun for the entire family – here in the background, a recreation of Cho Ben Thanh Market in Saigon, Vietnam

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Shout out to the Orlando Foodie Forum on facebook for coming out to the event!

Church Festival Volunteers snap a quick photo
Church Festival Volunteers snap a quick photo
Inside the festival building
Inside the festival building – some families stay all day watching the shows, eating their way around the building halls
Inside the festival building
Inside the festival building
Serving chao long, rice porridge with offal
Serving chao long, rice porridge with offal
Chao long, rice porridge with offal
Chao long, rice porridge with offal
Goi cuon, summer rolls
Goi cuon, summer rolls
Bun rieu, a seafood crab and pork noodle soup
Bun rieu, a seafood crab and pork noodle soup
Curry goat and sauteed boar
Curry goat and sauteed boar
Bun Bo Hue Spicy Beef Noodle soup
Bun Bo Hue Spicy Beef Noodle soup
A Vietnamese Catholic boy scout buys some banh tieu
A Vietnamese Catholic boy scout buys some banh tieu
Banh tieu, Vietnamese hollowed donut fry bread topped with sesame seeds
Banh tieu, Vietnamese hollowed donut fry bread topped with sesame seeds
Grinding sugarcane to make sugarcane juice
Grinding sugarcane to make fresh sugarcane juice
Hu Tieu Mi, a pork and chicken noodle soup
Hu Tieu Mi, a pork and chicken noodle soup topped with hard boiled quail eggs
Steaming  pots of bun rieu pork and crab noodle soup
Steaming pots of bun rieu pork and crab noodle soup
Rolls of banh tet, kind of like Christmas yuletide logs, but with sticky rice and beans to celebrate the new year
Rolls of banh tet, kind of like Christmas yuletide logs, but with sticky rice and beans to celebrate the new year
Lion dancers scare away evil spirits and welcome in the new year
Lion dancers scare away evil spirits and welcome in the new year
Scenes from the street food
Scenes from the street food

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Hot Vit Lon - the fearsome Duck fetus eggs
Hot Vit Lon – the fearsome Duck fetus eggs
Sauteed goat
Sauteed goat
Scenes from the street food
Scenes from the street food
Scenes from the street food
Scenes from the street food
Fried Eggrolls and pork sausage meatballs on a stick
Fried Eggrolls and pork sausage meatballs on a stick
Scenes from the street food
Scenes from the street food
Banh Cuon rice crepes
Banh Cuon rice crepes
Scenes from the street food
Scenes from the street food
Bun thit nuong
Bun thit nuong
Banh Xeo Vietnamese pan cakes
Banh Xeo Vietnamese pan cakes
Carnival games and things for kids area
Carnival games and things for kids area
Pew pew - Carnival games and things for kids area
Pew pew – Carnival games and things for kids area
Bounce area
Bounce area

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Orchids for sale
Orchids for sale
These Vietnamese ladies are getting ready for a cultural performance on stage
These Vietnamese ladies are getting ready for a cultural performance on stage
Pearl White Events, a local wedding planning business, markets their services
Pearl White Events, a local wedding planning business, markets their services
State Farm Insurance
State Farm Insurance is a sponsor, too
Mai tree, the symbol of spring for the Vietnamese
Mai tree, the symbol of spring for the Vietnamese