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Celebrating Lunar New Year with Kids in Seattle 2024 (year of the Dragon)

Hey there! Are you ready to learn more about one of the most vibrant and joyous festivals celebrated worldwide? Chinese New Year, also known as the Lunar New Year or Spring Festival, is an event steeped in centuries-old tradition and customs that marks the beginning of the lunar calendar. Family gatherings, delicious food, and various cultural activities are at the heart of this celebration. Unlike the widely used Gregorian calendar, the lunar calendar’s year starts in alignment with the natural cycle of the moon, making it unique and special. So join the celebrations, learn about the Chinese culture and enjoy all the colorful moments that this one-of-a-kind event can offer!

Table of Contents

The Zodiac Animals

Did you know that the Chinese zodiac is based on a 12-year cycle of animals? The animals in the Chinese zodiac are Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep (or Goat), Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. Each year is connected to one of these animals, and many people believe that the animal has a significant impact on the personality of the people born in that year, as well as on the overall characteristics of that year.

When Does the Lunar New Year Celebration Start?

The Lunar New Year festivities begin with the first new moon of the lunar calendar. The exact date varies each year but usually falls between January 21st and February 20th. The celebration spans 15 days, starting from New Year’s Eve to the 15th day of the New Year, culminating in the Lantern Festival. This period is marked with various activities and traditions, each holding significant cultural meaning.

Here in Seattle, the Lunar New Year provides an excellent opportunity for children to learn about these unique traditions and the diverse cultures that celebrate this festival. From trying delicious dishes to joining in cultural activities, each experience is a window into understanding and appreciating this time-honored event.

Bellevue Square's Lunar New Year Celebration: A Day of Culture and Fun

When: Saturday, February 3rd, from 11 am to 6 pm (Decorations are up from January 16th through February 4th)

Bellevue Square is set to host an exciting Lunar New Year celebration, offering a day packed with cultural performances, crafts, and more. It’s a perfect opportunity for families to immerse themselves in the traditions of the Lunar New Year.

Live Performances: In partnership with the Seattle Chinese Culture and Arts Association (SCCAA), the Overseas Community Affairs Council, and the Republic of China (Taiwan), Bellevue Square will feature a variety of live performances. Expect to see martial arts demonstrations, music, dance, and visual arts, showcasing the rich tapestry of Asian cultures.

Interactive Activities: The celebration will include numerous activities suitable for all ages. Participate in making good luck knot and bead bracelets, mini lanterns, handmade bookmarks, dragon masks, and more. There will also be lucky red envelopes and face painting, adding to the festive atmosphere.

Lunar New Year Décor & Displays: From January 16th through February 4th, Bellevue Square Mall will be adorned with Lunar New Year decorations and displays. This provides a wonderful backdrop for the celebrations and a great opportunity for families to enjoy the festive decor while shopping or dining.

The Lunar New Year event at Bellevue Square is not just about fun and festivities; it’s a gathering that echoes the traditional values of good fortune, good health, and community bonding. Whether you’re there to enjoy the performances, engage in arts and crafts, or simply soak in the atmosphere with family and friends, it’s an ideal place to celebrate and learn about this important cultural event.

The Landing in Renton: A Lunar New Year Adventure

When: February 1st to February 11th, 2024

Join the festive spirit at The Landing in Renton, a bustling lifestyle shopping center, for a unique Lunar New Year celebration. This year, The Landing invites the community to celebrate the Year of the Dragon with two engaging activities perfect for families, kids, and shoppers.

"Find the Dragon" Scavenger Hunt:

How It Works: From February 1st through 11th, participate in the “Spot the Dragon” scavenger hunt. Search for a hidden dragon throughout the center and scan the accompanying QR code to enter the contest.

Daily Winners: Clues for the scavenger hunt will be posted on their Instagram page @thelandinginrenton starting February 1st. There’s a chance to win every day, with winners contacted for prize redemption.

No Purchase Necessary: Engage in this fun hunt without any purchase, and note that this contest is not sponsored or endorsed by Facebook or Instagram.

Red Envelope Special Retail Promotion:

What’s Inside: Visit The Landing from February 1st through 11th to receive a special red envelope. These envelopes are filled with exclusive promotions from participating retailers.

Where to Get Them: Pick up your red envelope in the plaza across from Regal Stadium 14.

These events at The Landing are not just about shopping and winning prizes; they’re about bringing people together to celebrate a significant cultural event. The scavenger hunt adds an element of adventure and excitement, while the red envelope promotion ties in with traditional Lunar New Year customs.

Wing Luke Museum's Lunar New Year Fair: A Family-Friendly Celebration

When: Saturday, February 3, 2024, 10AM – 3PM

Join in the festivities of the Year of the Dragon at the Wing Luke Museum’s annual Lunar New Year Fair. This event promises a day filled with educational and entertaining activities perfect for families.

Lion Dance Kick-Off: The celebration starts at 10 AM with a spectacular Lion Dance performance by Mak Fai Kung Fu Dragon and Lion Dance Association. This traditional dance is a feast for the eyes and a culturally enriching experience.

Museum Activities: Doors open at 11 AM. Inside, you can meet local artists, engage in a calligraphy lesson, and enjoy Year of the Dragon crafts. These activities are ideal for children and provide a hands-on learning experience.

Community Booths and Storytime: Explore various community booths and enjoy storytime sessions. These activities are designed to educate and entertain, providing insights into Lunar New Year traditions.

New Year’s All Year Round Exhibit: Don’t miss the special exhibit at the Uwajimaya KidPlace Gallery, titled “New Year’s All Year Round: Theater, Dance & Sound,” available from January 26, 2024, through July 2024. It’s an immersive experience that explores the origins of the Lion Dance, New Year food traditions, and the cultural significance of these celebrations.

The Lunar New Year Fair at the Wing Luke Museum is an amazing celebration that captures the rich cultural heritage of Asian Pacific Islander Americans. This event is much more than just a New Year celebration. It’s a great way to experience and learn about cultural traditions with your family.

Note: Craft activities and prizes are reserved for visitors ages 12 and under.

Lunar New Year at The Village at Totem Lake in Kirkland

When: Saturday, February 3, 2024, starting at 1 pm

Mark your calendar for a splendid Lunar New Year Celebration at The Village at Totem Lake in Kirkland. This event is set to honor the Year of the Dragon with various activities and performances.

Lion Dance Performance by Mak Fai: A key attraction will be the lion dance by Mak Fai, a performance that is not only visually spectacular but also rich in cultural significance, symbolizing good luck and prosperity.

Craft Stations: Engage in creative craft-making at various stations. These activities are great for kids and families, offering a fun way to learn about and participate in Lunar New Year traditions.

A Celebration for Everyone: The Village at Totem Lake is creating a festive and welcoming atmosphere for all to enjoy the Lunar New Year festivities. It’s a wonderful opportunity for community members to gather and celebrate this significant cultural event.

This celebration at The Village at Totem Lake is an excellent addition to the list of Lunar New Year events in the Seattle area. It’s a perfect blend of cultural entertainment and community spirit, offering a memorable experience for all who attend.

Peter Kirk Community Center's Lunar New Year Celebration

When: Saturday, Feb. 3, from 2 to 4 p.m.

Join the free, public celebration at Peter Kirk Community Center in Kirkland for a delightful afternoon filled with cultural festivities. This event, sponsored by LingoAce, is set to offer a variety of activities and performances that showcase the richness of Lunar New Year traditions.

Lion Dance Performances: Experience the energy and vibrancy of traditional lion dance performances, a staple in Lunar New Year celebrations known for bringing good luck and fortune.

Vietnamese Fan Dances: Be captivated by the grace and beauty of traditional Vietnamese fan dances, an elegant and colorful expression of culture.

Lantern Display and Calligraphy: Admire the intricate lantern displays and witness the art of calligraphy, a revered form of writing in many Asian cultures.

Cultural Learning: This event is not only about celebration but also education. Learn about the traditions and customs of the Lunar New Year and how it is traditionally celebrated across various cultures.

Interactive Activities: Engage in various activities including crafts, food sampling, dancing, and cultural demonstrations. These activities are perfect for families and individuals looking to immerse themselves in the Lunar New Year spirit.

The celebration at Peter Kirk Community Center is a testament to the multicultural fabric of the Seattle area. It offers a unique opportunity to explore and appreciate the diverse ways in which the Lunar New Year is celebrated, making it an ideal event for those who seek both entertainment and cultural enrichment.

Seattle Asian Art Museum's Lunar New Year Celebration

When: Sunday, February 3, 2024, 10:30 AM – 2:00 PM

Celebrate the Year of the Dragon at SAM!

Join the annual Lunar New Year celebration at the Seattle Asian Art Museum, presented by PNC Bank, and dive into a day filled with cultural enrichment and fun.

Mak Fai Kung Fu & Lion Dance Association: Witness the thrilling performance of lion dances, a vibrant and energetic display that’s a cornerstone of Lunar New Year celebrations.

Enchanting Storytimes: Get captivated by enchanting storytimes, offering kids and families a glimpse into traditional tales and legends.

Taiji Demonstration: Enjoy a Taiji for health demonstration by the Seattle School of Chen Style Taijiquan, showcasing the graceful and meditative martial art.

Art Activities with Artists: Participate in drop-in art activities facilitated by artists Juliana Kang Robinson and Julie Kim, perfect for sparking creativity in kids of all ages.

Family-Friendly Surprises: Discover surprises from Mam’s Books, inspired by the holiday, adding an element of mystery and excitement.

Dumplings by Shooby Doo Catering: Save your appetite for delicious dumplings sold by Shooby Doo Catering in partnership with MiLa, making for a tasty treat during your visit.

This celebration at SAM is not just a festivity; it’s an immersive cultural experience. From traditional performances and martial arts to interactive art and storytelling, it offers a comprehensive and delightful way to ring in the Lunar New Year with your family.

Westfield Southcenter's Lunar New Year Extravaganza

When: Saturday, February 10, from 10 am to 9 pm

Prepare for a Lunar New Year celebration like no other at Westfield Southcenter. This year, the mall transforms into a cultural wonderland, featuring an impressive 25-foot dragon, a Moon Gate, a Wishing Tree, and cherry blossom trees, creating a mesmerizing ambiance.

Spectacular Decor: The centerpiece of the celebration is the 25-foot dragon, symbolizing strength, good luck, and good fortune. Accompanied by the enchanting Moon Gate and cherry blossom trees, the decor is set to be a visual feast.

Live Traditional Performances: Experience the thrill of live traditional performances, including the iconic lion dance, known for its vibrancy and energetic rhythm. These performances are not just entertaining but also rich in cultural significance.

Interactive Fun: Engage in the festivities by participating in naming the dragon. This is a unique opportunity to connect with an important symbol of the Lunar New Year.

Make a Wish: Add your aspirations for the New Year to the Wishing Tree. It’s a beautiful tradition that embodies hope and looking forward to the future.

Westfield Southcenter’s celebration offers a unique blend of traditional elements and interactive fun. It’s a perfect place for families who want to experience the Lunar New Year in a vibrant, mall setting. Whether you’re there to enjoy the performances, take part in the festivities, or just to soak in the cultural atmosphere, it promises an unforgettable experience.

Seattle's International District Lunar New Year Celebration

Mark Your Calendars for February 24, 2024!

Get ready to immerse yourself in the vibrant festivities of the Lunar New Year in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District! The CIDBIA’s (Chinatown-International District Business Improvement Area) annual Lunar New Year Celebration is set to take place on Saturday, February 24, 2024, and this year, we’re welcoming the Year of the Dragon.

Stroll Along S King St.: Discover a colorful array of vendor booths lined up along the street, offering a variety of goods, crafts, and cultural items.

Main Stage Performances at Hing Hay Park: Be enthralled by dance performances and music. The main stage will be a hub of activity and entertainment throughout the day.

The Food Walk Adventure: A highlight for food enthusiasts! With over 40 food walk destinations, your taste buds are in for a treat. Explore diverse and delicious menu items from Chinatown-ID businesses. The food walk runs from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Collect Stamps, Win Prizes: Engage in a fun stamp-collecting activity. Visit at least 5 locations on the food walk tour, collect 5 stamps, and enter to win a CID gift basket brimming with neighborhood goodies.

Information Booth: Lost or looking for recommendations? Head to the information booth where you can find event menus and all the details you need to navigate the celebration.

This event is not just about celebrating the Lunar New Year, but it’s also a chance to experience the cultural intersection that makes Seattle’s International District so unique. Bring your family, especially your kids, to join in this joyous and educational event. It’s a perfect opportunity for them to learn about Lunar New Year traditions, enjoy delicious food, and experience the lively atmosphere of one of Seattle’s most vibrant neighborhoods.

Seattle Chinese Garden: Lantern Festival Celebration

When: Sunday, February 24, 2024, 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM

The Seattle Chinese Garden invites you to join their Chinese New Year Lantern Festival, a traditional celebration filled with activities, performances, and cultural immersion.

The garden will be lively with various craft tables, tea tables, and games for kids, providing a hands-on experience of Chinese culture.

Enjoy live Chinese music, a treat for both the ears and the soul, showcasing the richness of traditional Chinese melodies.

Witness the grace and discipline of Tai Chi demonstrations. Tai Chi, a martial art known for its health benefits and meditation aspects, is a key part of Chinese culture.

Gather around for story time, a perfect activity for kids and families. Engage in the fascinating tales and legends that are a staple in Chinese folklore.

The festival will culminate with a vibrant and energetic Lion Dance performance, a traditional Chinese dance that is believed to bring good luck and fortune.

The Lantern Festival at the Seattle Chinese Garden is an ideal event for families looking to experience the Lunar New Year’s traditional aspects in an intimate and educational setting. It offers a perfect blend of entertainment, learning, and cultural appreciation, making it a must-visit for those interested in experiencing the depth of Chinese New Year traditions.

Shorelake Arts Lantern Festival: A Celebration of Diversity and Culture

When: Saturday, February 24, 2024, from 12 pm to 3:30 pm

Join the festivities at the Spartan Recreation Center in Shoreline for the Shorelake Arts Lantern Festival, a wonderful event that reflects the cultural diversity of Shoreline and Lake Forest Park. This celebration is a great opportunity to experience both traditional and contemporary Asian culture.

Lion Dance: Be enthralled by the dynamic Lion Dance, a traditional Chinese dance performed for good luck, as it is believed to bring prosperity and chase away evil spirits.

Music and Kung Fu Demonstrations: Enjoy a variety of musical performances and witness the skill and discipline of Kung Fu, a traditional Chinese martial art.

Hands-On Art and Food Trucks: Engage in creative hands-on art activities, including making your own Year of the Dragon paper lantern with a special art kit. Also, don’t miss out on the array of food trucks offering delicious Asian cuisine.

A Festival for All Ages: This event is free and open to all ages, making it a perfect family outing. While there is no admission fee, donations are appreciated to support the event and the arts.

The Shorelake Arts Lantern Festival is more than just a celebration; it’s a gathering that brings people together to appreciate the rich tapestry of Asian culture through art, music, and food. It’s a testament to the vibrant and inclusive spirit of Shoreline and Lake Forest Park.

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