By CBSLA Staff

WESTMINSTER (CBSLA) – It’s a tradition that is thousands of years old: celebrating the Lunar New Year, happening Friday night this year. But due to the pandemic, many communities are moving the celebrations online in 2021.

The night is a huge tradition for many in Asian-American communities, usually celebrated with gift-giving and family gatherings. But COVID-19 losses and restrictions are making it hard to celebrate the Year of the Ox.

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It is considered to be one of the most important celebrations in Vietnamese culture. In Little Saigon in Westminster, Vietnamese-Americans are celebrating the Lunar New Year, or Tet, in unique ways during COVID-19.

Orange County’s popular Tet Festival is canceled. Temples are empty and outdoor malls usually bustling with activity are closing early.

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In rare moves, tents, where New Year’s flowers were sold earlier this week, are coming down before the celebration even starts.

“This year they cannot sell anything,” said Yvonne Ngo. “Even if they lowered the price for the roses still not a lot of people willing to buy it.”

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But people celebrating at home this year are willing to buy blood oranges for $55 a box.

Many are being extra careful with the lucky money traditionally placed in red envelopes for loved ones. Some are even writing checks instead of cash, though others are keeping with the tradition from home.