By Marino Saito
Northwest Asian Weekly
The Lunar New Year is a major holiday for the Chinese and other Asian cultures. This is the Year of the Horse.
In the Gregorian calendar, the Chinese New Year falls on different dates every year — a date between Jan. 21 and Feb. 20. The Chinese year 4712 begins on Jan. 31, 2014. New Year celebrations usually start on the first day of the month and continue until the 15th, when the moon is brightest. People may take weeks of holiday from work to prepare for and celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year in China. There are also big celebration events that you should not miss here in Seattle.
On Saturday, Feb. 1, the biggest Lunar New Year celebration in the area will be held at Hing Hay Park and surrounding streets in the Chinatown-International District from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nearly 8,000 people are expected to join this celebration event. Booths will feature calligraphy, origami, temporary tattoos, face painting, and games, and attendees can enjoy nonstop entertainment throughout the day, including lion and dragon dances, Taiko drumming, and martial arts.
Northwest Asian Weekly will host the annual Children’s Parade Contest at 1:30 p.m. Kids ages 12 and under can participate in the contest and show off their best cultural outfit on stage. The attire should be culturally relevant to the Lunar New Year celebration. Judges will announce winners and prizes. Prizes will be awarded to first ($100), second ($50), and third ($25) place winners, plus many other prizes. All contestants will receive a fortune cookie and a stuffed panda. An application form is available on page 19.
Participants can preregister by downloading the application on the website or sign up on the day of the competition (Saturday, Feb. 1) before 1:15 p.m. at the registration table. The registration table will be located in front of Seattle Chinese Post/Northwest Asian Weekly at 412 Maynard Avenue South. No tickets are needed to attend this event.
More details are available at
In addition, on Feb. 8, the Chinese Information and Service Center (CISC) will host its fifth annual Lunar New Year Walkathon at Bailey Gatzert Elementary School, 1301 East Yesler Way, from 9 a.m. to noon. In celebration of the Year of the Horse, all are welcome to walk to raise funds supporting programs serving the Asian community and other immigrants across King County.
Last year, over 300 participants enjoyed festivities and supported CISC. Attendees can enjoy the live cultural entertainment, raffle prizes, Asian market, and other exciting family fun in the auditorium.
King County Executive Dow Constantine and King County Councilman Joe McDermott will kick off the festivities.
The Chinese Information and Service Center was founded in 1972 by student volunteers to meet the needs of Chinese immigrants, particularly seniors, and has grown to become one of the area’s largest providers of referral and direct services to bilingual/bicultural individuals and families. For more information, visit www.ciscwalkathon.kintera.org. (end)
Marino Saito can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.