Happy Hmong New Year

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Thousands of Hmong Minnesotans are headed downtown St. Paul Friday to celebrate the traditional new year. The Pioneer Press reports the doors at RiverCentre open at 7 a.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday for the 38th annual celebration.

The weekend includes dancing, music, craft displays and food.

The Winona Daily News reports many members of its Hmong community are spending the weekend in St. Paul. Non-Hmong are welcome to join the festivities.

The Hmong celebrated the new year after the rice harvest in their former homeland, Laos. They brought the tradition with them when they came to the United States as refugees after the Vietnam War.

More than 66,000 Hmong live in Minnesota, which has the largest urban Hmong population in the world, according to the 2010 U.S. census.

And my hmong outfit still fits! Yeeaaahh!

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Stabbings, melee mar St. Paul Hmong event

Two men were stabbed at the Hmong Freedom Celebration and Sports Festival in St. Paul over the weekend, and another was robbed and stabbed as he left the event, police said. On Saturday, a fight involving 35 to 40 people broke out in which people threw chairs and hit each other with pipes, sticks and umbrellas. The 32nd annual event drew hundreds of athletes and as many as 30,000 spectators.

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