UTICA, N.Y. – Locals gathered at the Stanley Theatre Thursday to celebrate the Karen New Year.
The Karen people are an ethnic group who reside mostly in Myanmar, formerly Burma, and Thailand.
Many fled to Thailand to find refuge from civil war in Myanmar. Many still live in refugee camps, or have relocated to western countries like the United States.
A population of Karen people reside in the Utica area, and were joined by Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon at the New Year celebration.
“It's the time of rice harvest, so it has that meaningful time and significance within the group. It also talks about the importance of solidarity. Just an outstanding opportunity to have the reflection of last year as well as looking at what can prosper this year,” said Buttenschon.
The Karen New Year Day varies depending on the lunar calendar, but usually falls between December and January.