Editor’s note: Given the rapid spread of the coronavirus omicron variant, please heed local health authorities’ safety recommendations as they’re updated, and check your event’s website for coronavirus requirements and the latest information.
It’s the Year of the Tiger! Lunar New Year falls on Feb. 1, and while many festivities in the Seattle area and beyond, including Wing Luke Museum’s Lunar New Year Fair, began celebrating the Lunar New Year last week, other festivities will continue well into the spring. This celebratory time is traditionally spent with families, neighbors and friends, and wishes of good fortune and blessings are made for the year to come.
If you’re looking for a Seattle-area Lunar New Year event, ring in the new year at Wing Luke Museum’s Lunar New Year Fair 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 29. This outdoor fair takes place in Chong Wa Benevolent Association Playfield (on the corner of Eighth Avenue South and South Weller Street, adjacent to Wing Luke Museum) in Seattle’s Chinatown International District.
At the fair, visitors will find community tables with members of the Seattle Public Library, National Parks Service, Chong Wa Benevolent Association, Wing Luke Museum Education Department and more. Members will share information about Seattle’s vibrant Chinatown International District and the things to come in the new year.
While strolling around the fair, visitors can also find photo opportunities and take-home craft kits. The craft kits include supplies to make a golden decoration embellished with paper flowers.
Throughout the day, visitors can stop by the main tent to join an interactive discussion about the history of lion dances with lion dancer Sifu MJ Steele, who is “very, very knowledgeable. He teaches kung fu, so he’s involved in a lot of aspects of the tradition,” said Max Chan, marketing manager at Wing Luke Museum.
The lion dance talks will take place at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., and they will also include community member stories about the Lunar New Year holiday.
For those looking to step inside and escape the cold, there are also a few activities offered at Wing Luke Museum. A new exhibit, “New Year-All-Year-Round,” will share cultural and personal traditions through family altars. Visitors can learn more about the Year of the Tiger and make connections to the different Lunar New Year traditions in various Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander and Asian American communities. There will also be a zodiac animals scavenger hunt throughout the museum’s galleries.
“I think we’ve all been really longing to get back to community because community is where a lot of us derive strength and connections, especially around this time of the year. [Lunar New Year] is a time when people come together as families and communities to celebrate and bring in a new time,” Chan said.
There is even an opportunity to celebrate for those who would rather join the festivities from home. Wing Luke Museum’s Lunar New Year celebration also includes a virtual story time from 11-11:30 a.m. Feb. 3. During the story time, listen to a Vietnamese folk tale about how the tiger got its stripes, retold by Wing Luke Museum’s Doan Diane Hoang Dy. Listeners will also explore ways the holiday is celebrated and get to know voices and perspectives from different community members.
At the in-person fair, visitors are required to wear masks at all times during the event. Arrows will guide the one-way flow of traffic for fair activities, and staff members will help prevent crowding and encourage social distancing. Find more information about Wing Luke’s Lunar New Year fair at wingluke.org.
Lunar New Year events
Here are some other events celebrating Lunar New Year in the Puget Sound area.
The Bellevue Collection Lunar New Year Activities — through Feb. 6
Bellevue Collection visitors can pick up a free scratch card through Feb. 6 to receive a special dining offer from participating restaurants or a chance to win an $80 Bellevue Collection gift card. Visitors can also pick up their own red envelope and craft kit to build a lantern at home. The mall will be decorated in festive décor like lanterns, dragons and colorful lights, and restaurants will be unveiling traditional dishes and specialties to celebrate the Year of the Tiger. Free. 575 Bellevue Square, Bellevue; 425-454-8096; bellevuecollection.com
Lunar New Year at Lucky Envelope Brewing — Jan. 28-29
Join Lucky Envelope Brewing to celebrate the Lunar New Year with beer releases, red envelope giveaways, Year of the Tiger merchandise, food trucks and more. Prices vary. 907 N.W. 50th St., Seattle; 206-659-4075; luckyenvelopebrewing.com
Year of the Tiger Crafts — Jan. 29
Seattle Night Market – Lunar New Year — Feb. 12
Seattle’s monthly indoor night market returns to celebrate the Chinese New Year with local vendors, food trucks, cocktail bars and special performances by local organizations. Purchase tickets online; $10-$20. 6310 N.E. 74th St., Seattle; facebook.com/FremontSunMarket
Tết in Seattle – Vietnamese Lunar New Year — Feb. 12-13
Join Seattle Center Festál in partnership with Tết in Seattle for a hybrid celebration of the new year with lion dances, firecrackers, martial arts, dance, visual arts and more. Free. 305 Harrison St., Seattle; tetinseattle.org
Asia Pacific Cultural Center Annual New Year Celebration — Feb. 19
The Asia Pacific Cultural Center presents its 24th annual Lunar New Year celebration from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Enjoy cultural arts, games, martial arts, live entertainment and more. Free. 4500 Steilacoom Blvd. S.W., Lakewood; 253-383-3900; asiapacificculturalcenter.org
Chinatown International District’s Lunar New Year — April 30
The Chinatown International District’s new year celebration (originally set to take place Feb. 5) is postponed until 11 a.m.-4 p.m. April 30 due to coronavirus concerns. The event will include vendor booths, a food walk, dance performances, music and more throughout the main stage at Hing Hay Park. Free. 423 Maynard Ave. S., Seattle; seattlechinatownid.com
What else is happening
Here are some other events happening Jan. 28-Feb. 3 in the Puget Sound area. If you would like to submit an event for consideration, fill out the form at the bottom of the post. Please check event websites for more information, including coronavirus requirements.
EO9066 — Jan. 27-29
Join Seattle Symphony at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 27 and 8 p.m. Jan. 29 to mark the 80th anniversary of Executive Order 9066, which saw the incarceration of thousands of innocent Japanese Americans during World War II. The program features Japanese American composer Paul Chihara, musician Kishi Bashi and Tchaikovsky’s “Symphony No. 4.” Alongside the concert, the Seattle Symphony presents “Pictures of Executive Order 9066,” an immersive self-guided video experience featuring photography and oral histories. Purchase tickets online; prices vary. 200 University St., Seattle; 206-215-4747; seattlesymphony.org
Stinky Spoke — Jan. 29
The Rotary Club of Redmond presents a 20-mile mountain bike “poker” ride to benefit local, regional and international charities at 10 a.m. Cyclists of all skill levels are invited to join and collect poker cards at various stops along the trail in an effort to form the best poker hands. A beer garden with hot food and drinks awaits participants at the end of their ride. Register online; prices vary. 10402 Willows Road, Redmond; redmondrotary.org
Guided Nature Walk: Lichens — Jan. 29
Seward Park Audubon hosts this Guided Nature Walk featuring lichens 1-3 p.m. Lead naturalist Ed Dominguez guides participants in an excursion into the old-growth forest in search of the abundance of lichens in Seward Park (like lungwort, wolf lichen, pixie cups and witch’s hair, just to name a few!). Register online; free. 5902 Lake Washington Blvd. S., Seattle; 206-652-2444; sewardpark.audubon.org
“Roosevelt High School: Beyond Black & White” — Jan. 31
Watch the online documentary premiere of “Roosevelt High School: Beyond Black & White” at 7 p.m. This film explores race and education based on experiences at Roosevelt High School. The showing will be followed by a question-and-answer session with a panel of students, staff, parents and alumni. Register online; free. rhs4racialequity.org
“Small Island, Big Song” — Jan. 31
Framed in a theatrical narrative, eight musicians and vocalists from New Zealand, Taiwan, Australia, Madagascar and elsewhere will take audience members on a musical journey through their ancient seafaring ancestry with “Small Island, Big Song” at 7:30 p.m. This production confronts the impacts of climate change while offering a variety of opportunities to investigate the environmental, political, social and cultural contexts of our oceans’ islands. Purchase tickets online; $35-$50. 19600 Vashon Highway S.W., Vashon; 206-463-5131; vashoncenterforthearts.org