Kay Htoe Boe (Spring) Festival

Anderson Plaza

Saturday, May 9, 2020 @ 9:00 am - 1:00 pm

Creighton University will co-host the Kay Htoe Boe (Spring) Festival with the Karenni community on Creighton’s campus. The Karenni people originate from Karenni State in Myanmar – a place which is enduring an on-going civil war. In 2009, Karenni refugees began moving to Nebraska with the help of Lutheran Family Services and the Refugee Empowerment Center. During the last few years the number of Karenni families moving to Omaha has been steadily increased and currently there are more than 120 families in the area.

In support, solidarity, and gratitude for the Karenni’s presence in Omaha, all are welcome to attend this festival full of cultural traditions, authentic food, and celebration from 9am-1pm.
Cultural Significance of the Festival:
The cultural traditions of all Karenni include respect for the natural environment and the lives of all plant and animal species. Some Karenni practice a traditional religion, which regards the natural world as alive with various spirits. The Karenni celebrate several festivals that are part of their identity and function to unify the diverse ethnic and religious population. The Kay Htoe Boe (Spring) Festival is celebrated at the end of April as the Karenni New Year celebration. During the celebration, a tree is used to carve a pole, which is painted white and decorated with symbols of the traditional worldview and cosmology, representing Karenni culture. The men dance around the tree while women sprinkle water, both to cool the dancers and to symbolize a ritual cleansing that is necessary for starting the New Year.

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