There are plenty of Lunar New Year celebrations

By Marino Saito
Northwest Asian Weekly

Lunar New Year is known as the most important celebration in the Chinese calendar — a time for families to get together. It’s like Christmas Day for Americans. The Lunar New Year starts on Jan. 31 this year. A lot of events will be held around the Seattle and will go from this weekend through the beginning of next month.

On Saturday, Jan. 25, one Lunar New Year celebration event that more than 1,800 people attended last year will be held in Westminster Church in Bellevue. There will be live entertainment, games, crafts, art exhibits, food, traditional music, and dance. It starts at 3 p.m. and lasts until 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and children, and children under 4 are free. See more details at http://www.westminster.org/connect/internationals/lny/.

On the same day, another event called Lunar New Year Banquet & Silent Auction will be hosted by the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) at the O’Asian restaurant in downtown Seattle. There will be a silent auction with items from the Seattle Symphony and Teatro Zinzanni, a one-of-a-kind photo of rock legend Eddie Vedder, and much more. Cakes and pastries will be auctioned off in the annual Dessert Dash. Advanced tickets are $35 for AAJA members, $40 for non-members, $20 for students, and $12.50 for children. Parking is free in the garage, located under the Bank of America building at Fifth and Columbia. (O’Asian is located in the same building). More details are available at http://www.aajaseattle.org/lunar-new-year-banquet-silent-auction-to-be-at-oasian-on-jan-25/
Even if you cannot join the celebration this Saturday, you can still join other events. Next Friday, Jan. 31, the Chinese New Year celebration and lion dance will be held for the first time at Lake City Community Center at 7 p.m. The event is free to all.

In addition, on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1, the Woodinville Tasting Room of Otis Kenyon will celebrate Lunar New Year with a wine tasting. There will be authentic decorations, Lunar New Year treats, and Walla Walla wines. This event runs from noon to 6 p.m. on both days.

The Chinatown-International District welcomes everyone to the 2014 Lunar New Year celebration, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., on Feb. 1 at Hing Hay Park and surrounding streets in the neighborhood. This is the biggest celebration event around in the area, and about 8,000 people are expected to attend. Attendees can enjoy face painting, balloons, calligraphy drawing, origami, temporary tattoos, games, and more. There is nonstop entertainment throughout the day, including lion and dragon dances, Taiko drumming, martial arts, and the annual Children’s Parade Contest presented by Northwest Asian Weekly. Kids can show off their best cultural outfit on stage (parents are welcome to accompany their children). There will be prizes for winners.

Restaurants across Chinatown will be offering many tasty foods from China, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, and beyond. Bring the family and enjoy!

Another weekend event will be held on Feb. 8 and Feb. 9 at Bellevue Square in Center Court. The celebration will feature numerous traditional and contemporary cultural demonstrations, including martial arts, music, dance, and visual arts. The festival is open to all ages. More details are available at http://bellevuecollection.com/lunarnewyear/index.php?p=11. (end)

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