Lunar New Year: Seattle Celebrates the Year of the Rooster

This weekend saw a number of changes, including the introduction to the year of the Rooster. The International District hosted a celebration that called on folks from around the city of Seattle to come together and celebrate the Lunar New Year. The event hosted a number of traditional performances, delicious food and events for guests of all ages. People funneled into the district, following the music and their noses into the center of the festivities, where they found a number of food vendors and smiling faces celebrating the event. There were food vendors offering a number of international dishes at reasonable prices. One vendor sold elote mesquite, a traditional Mexican-style corn; another sold pork spring rolls and chicken skewers. The vendors offered a number of delicious options from a wide variety of international cuisines, and dozens of lines cut through the crowded streets. The McDonald’s food truck looked unsurprisingly barren in comparison to the local vendor tents, which had lines that wrapped around street corners.

LUKAS EDMONDSON • THE SPECTATOR
LUKAS EDMONDSON • THE SPECTATOR

Seattleites gather for the Lunar New Year Festival in the International District.

Logan Anglebury, who attends the event annually, said that he liked this year’s celebration better than previous years because he felt like there were more food options.

In addition to pop-up tents, the celebration also had a three-dollar food walk, which local businesses in the area participated in to give guests a taste of their food. The food walk included over 35 different businesses that offered specific menu items for three dollars each. This allowed businesses to showcase their menus, gain customers and add an aspect to the celebration that surely attracted all the Seattle foodies.

Jessie Lang was one of the many people who celebrated the Chinese New Year in the International District with plenty of delicious food.

“This is our third time coming [to the celebration], we come for the food,” said Lang.

My favorite dishes at the event were fresh pork spring rolls from one of the food tents, dumplings from Liana Café House, and ahi tuna poké from Go Poké. Refreshments were also part of the food walk, and Gossip Espresso & Tea offered their original Milk Tea for three dollars. I spent a total of 22 dollars throughout the celebration and tried seven new dishes. Overall, it was a very successful day for delicious food to bring Seattleites together over steaming dumplings and refreshing bubble tea.

In addition to food, there was plenty of entertainment, including raffle drawings, traditional performances, and a children’s noodle eating contest.

The event was thriving with cheerful-looking people from diverse walks of life, all coming together to enjoy a spectacular Chinese tradition.

The pop of firecrackers could be heard sporadically throughout the day, alerting guests to an upcoming performance. Dozens flocked as performers dressed as vibrant dragons began the traditional Chinese dance.

“The experience was really unique, it was nice to see people gathering together to celebrate this Chinese tradition,” said Ximena Gonzalez, a student at Seattle University who attended the event.

LUKAS EDMONDSON • THE SPECTATOR
LUKAS EDMONDSON • THE SPECTATOR

One of the many vendors present during the festival.

The Chinese New Year is traditionally celebrated for 15 days, and is considered a major holiday in China. The lunisolar Chinese calendar marks the date of the celebration, so it changes from year to year. This New Year will last until Feb. 15, 2018.

According to The Telegraph, people born in the year of the rooster are characterized as “honest, energetic, intelligent, flexible, and confident”, and there won’t be another year of the rooster until 2029.

The event hosted this Sunday was definitely a success. Together, this large group of people came together and celebrated not only a new Chinese year, but also the diversity of our city. It was refreshing to see a joyful gathering after the controversial news of policy reforms from earlier in the weekend. It is amazing how good food, happy people, and a wonderful tradition can uplift the spirits of a community and bring together a city.

Tess may be reached at
towen@su-spectator.com

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