On Sunday, February 4th, Havana Street in Colordo held a fantastic Lunar New Year event. So much extravagance, excitement, and energy was buzzing through the long lines and crowded chatters.
I visited the festival with my mom and her friend, and it was fascinating to see so many people of different ages and races so fascinated with other cultures. A stand called ‘Seoul Mandoo’ was serving a countless amount of customers in a line that wrapped around the whole event!
Right next to a Korean food truck called ‘Mukja’ was the entrance to Stampede, an unexpectedly, spacious, and tall building which I had always passed by but never visited. Inside were incredible vendor stands, selling all kinds and sorts of items, from plants in pottery and paper information about a female Asian program.
Inside contained just about one of the largest TV’s I have ever seen, displaying the bright red and deep golds of the advertisement for the event, reflecting off of every wall in the giant building.
By another Korean food stand, was a huge bowl of unmixed bibimbap, a Korean dish, “A rice bowl topped with all sorts of seasoned sautéed vegetables, marinated meat (usually beef), a fried egg sunny side up, finished with a sprinkle of sesame and generous dollop of a sweet-spicy-savoury Bibimbap sauce” (Recipietineats). Bibimbap refers to the two words bibim (to mix) and bap (rice) in Koean, a delicious dish with the directions in its name!
Though I didn’t witness it myself, I came across a video of about 5 people mixing it with enlarged wooden spoons, struggling to mix the impressively large bowl of bibimbap. As I tapped on my phone, I saw more and more chaotic (but fun!) videos of all types of events at the festival. There was K-pop dancing, Lion Dancing, firecrackers, and so much more I wish I could have seen first hand.
As we were climbing up a hill of snow back to our car, away from the filled parking lot by the event, a friendly couple happened to pass by and notice the commotion behind us.
“Do you know what is happening over there?”
“Oh, it’s a Lunar New Year festival!”
We explained that it had tons of different food and you could even go inside the building for more fun.
Two more people to enjoy a time that will become a happy nostalgic memory- the same way it did for me.
Havana Street in Colordo held a fantastic Lunar New Year event. (Photo by Bahnya Kim)
Though cold, tight, loud, and busy, I saw so many people with giant smiles on their faces, two young best friends shyly smiling about their newly purchased plants in cute pottery. Fathers deep in conversions with each other as their wives and children set off to take pictures and look around. Vendors and sellers passionately explaining their program, food, clothes, and so much more.
So, yes, it wasn’t a completely practical place or weather to have such an event, but the diversity and exhilaration of immersing themselves in such cultures, ideas, and hard work was enough to warm a person than a heater ever could.
By Bahnya Kim