Celebrating Lunar New Year, Seattle-Style

Like tourists in our own city, we put on our brightest red shirts (it’s considered lucky) and trekked to Seattle’s Chinatown/International District to join in the Lunar New Year Celebration.  This holiday is generally called Chinese New Year in the United States but Lunar New Year is more appropriate since the day is a significant holiday for multiple Asian cultures. To name a few, in Vietnam they call Lunar New Year “Tet,” in Korea it’s “Seollal,” Mongolians call it “Tsagaan Sar,” and Tibetans say “Losar.”

Having recently made lanterns and read several books about Chinese New Year, we were thrilled to understand some of the symbolism behind the events.

The bright costumes lit up the otherwise dreary Seattle morning beautifully. We enjoyed an authentic Chinese lunch at Shanghai Garden then went out and watched the Lion Dancers go from restaurant to restaurant, lighting off massive strings of firecrackers and scaring the evil spirits away from all the businesses.

When we got home, our kids were moved to make a Dragon of their own using cardboard boxes, paper towel holders, painted construction paper, and duct tape. Ferocious, aren’t they?

Kid Dragon Dance at home
Make your own Dragon from recycled materials and duct tape!

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