FILE PHOTOS: Hundreds of community members celebrate the Year of the Tiger in Chinatown

The annual Lunar New Year celebration hosted by Chinatown-International District Business Improvement Zone returned to Chinatown-International District on April 30, bringing tons of excitement to community members after two years of pandemic.

by Debby Cheng

The annual Lunar New Year celebration hosted by Chinatown International District Business Improvement Area (CIDBIA), a celebration traditionally held for decades, has returned to the community after two years of the pandemic. While last year CIDBIA opted for just a food walk, this year will be the first in-person Lunar New Year celebration with the street festival.

The start of the Year of the Tiger, commonly referred to as the Lunar New Year, landed on February 1 this year. CIDBIA had to postpone the event to April due to the rapid development of the omicron variant earlier this year. Connie Au-Yeung, CIDBIA’s communications and marketing manager, said they were doing their best to follow safety protocols. “There are obviously some challenges in planning around health and safety guidelines, but ultimately the goal is to reinvigorate the space and the neighborhood,” she said. “There’s nothing we can’t get past.”

The event managed to happen on April 30 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., attracting hundreds of people from different communities to gather in Chinatown. The celebration featured different artists, live shows, and vendors, and aimed to create an economically vibrant neighborhood. A variety of traditional Chinese art performances were performed on the stage at Hing Hay Park, including lion dance, Chinese cultural dance and multiple martial arts performances.

A member of the Mak Fai Kung Fu Dragon & Lion Dance Association wears the lion’s head during their parade down Chinatown Street. They walked the streets of Chinatown, interacting closely with community members. (Photo: Debby Cheng)
Photo depicting a young female martial artist in a blue outfit playing with a sword.
A young member of the Wudang Internal Martial Arts Performance Team performs fencing with her partner on the stage in Hing Hay Park. (Photo: Debby Cheng)
Photo depicting a group of individuals wearing black and green lion dance costumes playing musical instruments as part of their performance.
A member of the Dragon and Lion Dance Association Mak Fai Kung Fu plays the lion dance drum alongside the lion dance performance on the stage in Hing Hay Park. (Photo: Debby Cheng)
Photo depicting a group of individuals (one in the foreground wearing a sleeveless red happi while the members in the background wear blue happi) playing taiko drums.
A member of the Seattle Kokon Taiko band plays taiko with other members on stage at Hing Hay Park. (Photo: Debby Cheng)
Photo depicting a CID street with vendor stalls on either side and a large group of people walking down the street.
Vendors opened on both sides of the streets in Chinatown. The Chinatown-International District has been crowded with community members for two years. (Photo: Debby Cheng)
Photo depicting a youth holding a red Chinese lion dance head.
A child holds a lion dance head after watching the lion dance performance in Chinatown. There was a booth during the event that offered attendees a try at wearing the lion’s head. A number of kids lined up to try this. (Photo: Debby Cheng)
Photo showing a child showing a man wearing glasses and a gray and white striped long sleeve shirt offering his drink to another young person showing a man wearing a red and white raglan t-shirt.
A child offers to share his light bulb drink with his peer. Light bulb drinks were particularly popular at the event, as a number of attendees were seen drinking from a light bulb in the streets. (Photo: Debby Cheng)
Photo showing three individuals sitting on the sidewalk eating various foods.
Community members sit on the sidewalk in Chinatown, tasting the food they bought from vendors. (Photo: Debby Cheng)
Photo showing two people sorting goods at a side stand.
A small business owner organizes his wares on a sidewalk in Chinatown. The stand was one of the few stands that did not have a tent. They worked in the bright sunshine for hours. (Photo: Debby Cheng)

📸 Featured Image: Two martial artists from the Wudang Internal Martial Arts Performance Team perform bōjutsu, a stick fighting martial art, on stage at Hing Hay Park. They were fighting each other, and the artist in the blue uniform was jumping to avoid the other artist’s “attack” on April 30, 2022. (Photo: Debby Cheng)

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About Margaret L. Portillo

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