Photos: Vietnamese New Year

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  • Tam Bao Temple members ring in the Vietnamese New Year with a service, dragon dancing and fireworks. Meditating during the service are, front row from left, Chi Ngo, Trinh Vu, (second row from left) Tuyen Pham, Thu Tran and Lien Huong.

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  • Buddhist Books of Chanting, also known as Heart of Suttra, rest on their stands in rows throughout the Tam Bao Temple. Members of the congregation use the books for prayer.

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  • As midnight approaches, the dragons dance around firecrackers to celebrate to beginning of the Year of the Dragon. In Vietnamese culture, the dragon is a symbol for a big and wonderful dream that people have for their lives.

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  • Nguyen Le and Anh Tran adorn Lindsey Huynh with her beauty contest sash as fellow contestants and runners up, from left, Evian Vo, Thuong Dinh, Teagan Chung, Mya Tran and Hai-Anh Ton watch.

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  • Mya Tran, left, and Hai-Anh Ton perform on stage for an encore of the Chicken Dance.

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  • Ken Nguyen and Trang Dinh entertains the crowd with a comedy routine Sunday night as the clock ticks down to the Vietnamese New Year. Youth provided entertainment throughout the night with dancing, music and comedy.

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  • From left (facing) Hai Ton, Trang Dinh and Truc-Anh Ton performs a traditional Vietnamese dance with Sheila Ton, Krissy Danh and Tina Tran.

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  • From left, Tina Tran, Yen Nhi Huynh and Sheila Ton strike a pose during their dance performance. The girls performed modern as well as traditional Vietnamese dances throughout the night.

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  • New Years cards hang from the Ochna Integerrima tree outside the Tam Bao Temple. When this tree sheds its blooms in Vietnam, everyone knows it is the new year, no matter where they are in the country.

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  • Tam Bao Temple's resident nun Thich Nu Trung Quang presents Phi Nguyen with a lucky envelope and a lucky fruit as they ring in the Vietnamese New Year. Abbot Thich Dao Quang also presented people with the envelopes and fruit, which is a tradition in Vietnamese culture.

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  • Hai-Anh Ton, 6, performs a traditional dance. Ton's mother made her costume by hand.

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  • Beauty pageant contestant wearing number seven, Teagan Chung, laughs at a comment made on stage after she and the contestants, from left, Hai-Anh Ton, Mya Tran, Lindsey Huynh, Kristina Danh, Amy Hau, Thuy Dinh, Evian Vo and Thuong Dinh, modeled their personal choice dress. The pageant was part of the Vietnamese New Year celebration at Tam Bao Temple.

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  • Trang Dinh and Tina Tran perform a traditional Vietnamese dance. Left to right: Sheila Ton, Krissy Danh, Hai Ton, Trang Dinh, Truc-Anh Ton, Tina Tran.

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  • Phu Hoa chants during a worship Sunday morning at the Tam Bao Temple. Members of the congregation marked the beginning of the Vietnamese New Year, the Year of the Dragon.

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  • Abbot Thich Dao Quang, left, and resident nun, Thich Nu Trung Quang, lead the service. Monday began the Year of the Dragon.

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  • Loc Nguyen prays during the Vietnamese New Year service at the Tam Bao Temple Sunday morning. Nguyen's Buddhist name is Hien Mai.

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  • Abbot Thich Dao Quang burns incense in front of a Buddha statue. Quang encourages the members of the temple to live in harmony and to settle conflicts with each other.

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  • Tien Nguyen, middle, worships with other members of the Tam Bao Temple Sunday morning at the beginning of the Vietnamese New Year celebration. This year marks the Year of the Dragon.

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  • Dung Banh prays during the service.

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