Tết: Vietnamese Lunar New Year @ Seattle Center

Celebrating the year of the cat 🐈

📸: Courtesy Tết In Seattle

Saturday, January 14th – Sunday, January 15th

The drums banging, the crowds pouring, the music louder than ever. Each vendor makes you hold your step a little longer as you stumble your way through the busy path. People dance to the shock of drums. BANG. It’s grand, extravagant, and colorful. BANG. Maybe a little scary, intimidating, or awe-inspiring. BANG. What you’re watching is the lion dance, a traditional dance performed to ward off evil spirits and to shepherd in good luck for the new year. Welcome to The Year of The Cat. 

Tết, short for Tết Nguyên Đán, which translates to “Festival of the First Day of the Year,” is a Vietnamese holiday that celebrates just that. It’s one of the most important holidays, as it not only welcomes the arrival of a much-needed spring but serves as hope for this year to be the best it could be. It’s based around the Lunar Calendar, which the Vietnamese Zodiac uses to classify each year as a different animal, repeating in a 12-year cycle, with this year being the cat. 

Here at Seattle’s Fisher Pavilion, walk around and douse yourself in the rich-aromatic smell from Vinason Pho, a popular local and sustainable Vietnamese restaurant in the heart of Seattle. Enjoy arts and crafts from merchandise vendors such as Lucky Star Fruit Co or Misha Charms, and live performances from celebrated Vietnamese artists Ánh Minh and Ha Thanh Xuân. Admission is free both days, and the whole event is family-friendly.

YouTube video
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Author

Nathan Saeturn

Nathan is a recent UW graduate and a connoisseur of instant Vietnamese coffee—the same brand for six years. (“G7 3-in-1” to be exact!!!) He is currently a volunteer book reviewer for The International Examiner and a dog dad to Willow, the world’s most animated terrier.