By January 18, 2023 Community
As we come to the end of the Lunar year, we welcome the start of New Year. Lunar New Year is celebrated annually throughout East Asia, with residents in each country celebrating with their cultural traditions and customs. The celebrations welcome the return of spring and chase away the darkness of winter, with many featuring fire crackers, special foods, and lion dances.
Lunar New Year is based on the lunar calendar, rather than the solar-based Gregorian calendar used by many Western countries, including the United States. In 2023, Lunar New Year begins January 22, with celebrations lasting up to 16 days. In some countries, the first week of the new year is considered a public holiday.
Each Lunar year is marked by 1 of 12 zodiac signs. Most people in the U.S. know about the Chinese zodiacs, making 2023 the year of the rabbit. In the Vietnamese and Gurung zodiac, the cat replaces the rabbit, and in the Malay zodiac, the mousedeer replaces the rabbit.
Looking for ways to celebrate the new year? Come celebrate on the Pier! Our community partner, Friends of Waterfront Seattle, is hosting a celebration on Pier 62. Learn more here. There are also several other events going on around Seattle, especially in the Seattle Chinatown International District, which will feature a food walk and traditional performances for all to experience.
We would also like to acknowledge some local nonprofits who work each day raising awareness about East Asian culture and creating safe spaces throughout our region.
- The Seattle Chinese Garden is a nonprofit organization with volunteers, docents, and board of directors who work tirelessly to care for the garden. They are located at South Seattle College and are always looking for support to help maintain the Garden that we all enjoy to visit. Learn more about the Seattle Chinese Garden.
- Organizations of Chinese Americans, OCA, Seattle Chapter was formed in 1995 and they help serve the Greater Seattle Chinese and Asian Pacific American community. They ensure equal voting access for all citizens, support Dr. Wen Ho Lee’s fight for due process, and strive for Washington state’s push for marriage equality. Learn more about OCA.
- Helping Link is a nonprofit committed to solving the needs of the Vietnamese community in the greater Seattle area through educational programs and resources for language, technology, and citizenship. Learn more about Helping Link.
Happy New Year everyone, and welcome 2023!