The first annual Hmong Midsummer Night Market event was held at The Falls Event Center on Friday July 20. Business owners, mostly Hmong, from around the Sacramento area participated as vendors at the lively event.
Having never been to a Hmong market but hearing about Hmong New Year’s celebrations from friends, I attended the Hmong Midsummer Night Market not quite knowing what to do or expect. I recently discovered through the miracles of 23 & Me and We Gene that I’m approximately 3% Hmong. I considered this event a great opportunity to learn more about Hmong culture.
For those of you that don’t know, the Hmong are an ethnic group of people with origins in China. Although they are technically listed as one of the 55 ethnic groups in China, they do not consider themselves to be Chinese, but rather a separate ethnicity. During the Qing Dynasty, the Hmong were killed and persecuted. Therefore, many Hmong fled China. Outside of China, many Hmong have settled into present day Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. After the Vietnam War, many Hmong migrated to the United States. Fresno, Stockton, and Sacramento have quite high Hmong populations (percentage of an entire city’s population), compared with other cities in the United States.
Eager to check out the Hmong Midsummer Market, I walked to the back building of The Falls and merged in with the masses of people. Outside I found Bumblebee Shaved Ice, a Hmong band, and various booths selling cosmetics & skincare, flowers, another vendor selling Hmong food. The shaved ice looked delicious but I didn’t get to taste any because the lines were quite long.
I was introduced to the members of Txhawb Zog, a Hmong band. They generously gifted me a cd which I honestly enjoyed listening to. There are songs on it in Hmong as well as English. Even if you don’t understand Hmong, I recommending giving Txhawb Zog’s cd Yog Peb Nyob Ua Ke a try. Check out Txhawb Zog’s music video below. Most noteworthy, Bour Nhia Her really has an incredible voice.
My daughter Roxy was fascinated by some of the individuals who had dressed up for the occasion. I asked to take a picture of Roxy with a nice woman who, it turns out, is also a Hmong singer and comedian named Paj Yeeb Muas. I hadn’t heard her music before or seen her performances. However, I want to check her out now because she was such a spirited individual. You can tell she has a lot of passion and charisma.
I came upon a nicely done flower booth. Upon inquiry, I found out that Le’s Flower’s offers flowers for all occasions. Cam-Hong Hoang, the owner, had a lot of beautiful flowers displayed. I noted that the flowers were very pretty and decided I’d check them out sometime when I need flowers.
I wandered inside to check out some of the other vendors. Inside, I found many booths selling crafts, jewelry, and all sorts of goodies and knick knacks. Hill Tribe Fusion was one of the first inside booths to catch my eye.
My daughter Roxy pulled me over to the Kuvli display with a lot of brightly colored bracelets. I asked if the bracelets had real gem stones and was impressed that they used them. Hence, I decided to get some. Of course, Roxy was incredibly excited when I let her pick out a bracelet. Also, I grabbed one for myself with purple amethyst stones.
Personally, I really liked to see the cute items from Pretty Little Crafts Shop, owned by Bai Xiong. The designs for the mugs, waterbottles, and onesies were all really cute.
After having spent an hour or so at the Hmong Midsummer Night Market, I was impressed with the variety of vendors, although I did wish the food lines were shorter. All in all, considering that this was the first Hmong Midsummer Night Market, I would say that the event was a success. I had a good time with my family and definitely got to know a bit more about Hmong culture. If there are any more Hmong markets in the future, I highly recommend you grab your family or friends and check it out!