We may not have been able to celebrate Chinese New Year in China, but that’s okay because Seattle’s International District brought it to us.
Friday, Feb. 2, was the official date of the Chinese New Year, but the celebration all throughout the weekend.
This is the Year of the Horse and it got off to a great start through the celebrations that were held, especially in the International District where you can really get a full experience of Chinese food, art and culture.
I have been to one of the New Year celebrations in Chinatown before and they are quite a spectacle. There were many performances, such as dragon and lion dances—a common tradition. There were other performances from different dance teams, as well as, art and activities to keep everyone engaged.
Getting to see the red lanterns, red money envelopes and experiencing the different activities allow you to immerse yourself in the culture, which can be fun and exciting. I will also note the traditional Chinese food, including moon cakes that are usually only made during the New Year’s celebration.
Chinese New Year has been important to me because although I have no Asian heritage, my youngest sister is adopted from China and we celebrate with her every year. But I would encourage everyone to experience some Chinese art so that they can take some part in the celebration.
The Seattle Asian Art Museum, located in Volunteer Park is currently featuring an online exhibit of Chinese art. Through the interactive exhibit you can check out several works including images and essays. It also allows you to search through the art by artist, dynasty or region so you can take your pick at what you want to explore.