The Lunar New Year is fast approaching, and with it many fun celebrations in Seattle. If you’re not familiar, the Lunar New Year is celebrated in Asian cultures as it is the beginning of the new year on the traditional lunar calendar. This year, it falls on Sunday, January 22 but Seattle’s celebrations start this weekend and continue into early February. We put together this list of some of the best options for celebrating the Lunar New Year in Seattle in 2023. The best part is that almost all of these events are free to attend, so you don’t have to spend any money to go check out a traditional lion dance.
Here are the top 10 things to do for the Lunar New Year in Seattle (in chronological order):
1. Tết in Seattle
This Lunar New Year celebration takes place over two days at Seattle Center. The events on both days run from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. in the Armory Food & Event Hall and Fisher Pavilion. There will be a lion dance, live music, food vendors, and craft vendors. Admission is free.
Read even more about the event on the Seattle Center website.
When: Saturday, January 14 and Sunday, January 15, 2023
Where: Seattle Center
2. Lunar New Year Celebration Show at the library
The Seattle Central Library (located downtown) is hosting a Lunar New Year celebration in the Level 1 Microsoft Auditorium. This free event runs from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. and will feature music, dance, and more live performances.
There is more info about this event on the library website.
When: Tuesday, January 17, 2023
Where: Seattle Central Library (downtown)
3. Lunar New Year on the Pier
This free event on Pier 62 runs from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. rain or shine. The lion dance will happen first from 2:00 to 2:30—arrive early so you don’t miss it! There will also be food trucks, local vendors, and the unveiling of Pier 62’s new fire pit.
Read all about the plans for this event on the Waterfront Park website.
When: Sunday, January 22, 2023
Where: Pier 62
4. Lunar New Year Celebration in downtown Seattle
Head to downtown Seattle on Tuesday afternoon for this free, family-friendly celebration that features a traditional lion dance. The event starts at noon in Westlake Park and then there will be a second performance in Occidental Square at 1:00.
All the info is on the Love Seatown website.
When: Tuesday, January 24, 2023 from noon to 2:00
Where: Westlake Park and Occidental Square (downtown Seattle)
5. Lunar New Year Fair at Wing Luke Museum
This is a partially free event. The first part takes place outdoors in front of the Wing Luke Museum on King Street at 10:00 a.m.; there will be a lion dance that is free for the public to enjoy.
The second part of the celebration takes place within the museum and requires museum admission ($17 for adults; $10 for ages 5-12; free for ages under 5). From 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. there will be activities inside for all ages to enjoy. The museum’s exhibits will also be open until 5:00 p.m.
See more info on the Wing Luke Museum website.
When: Saturday, January 28, 2023
Where: Wing Luke Museum
6. 2023 Microsoft Asian Spring Festival
This two-part event consists of a family-friendly festival in the afternoon and an evening gala that will feature Chinese performance groups. Both events require a ticket purchase. You can buy a ticket for just the afternoon festival or just the evening gala, or both! Children age three and under are admitted for free.
You’ll find more info and a link to tickets on the Love Seatown website.
When: Saturday, January 28, 2023 from noon to 9:00 p.m.
Where: McCaw Hall (321 Mercer St.)
7. Lunar New Year Celebration in CID
Lunar New Year celebrations can extend up to 15 days after the initial date, so if you miss out on January’s fun you can attend this early February celebration in Hing Hay Park in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District. From 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. there will be vendor booths, lion dances, live music and performances, and businesses participating in a neighborhood food walk.
You can read more about the event on the Seattle CID website.
When: Saturday, February 4, 2023
Where: Hing Hay Park in Chinatown-International District
8. Lunar New Year Family Celebration at Seattle Art Museum
You can head to Seattle Art Museum on the first Saturday of February to enjoy a free Lunar New Year family celebration. There will be a lion dance, story time, a community mural, and more. The event is free with a suggested admission donation.
Get more info and tickets on the Seattle Art Museum website. (RSVPs are encouraged but not required.)
When: Saturday, February 4, 2023
Where: Seattle Art Museum
9. PhinneyWood Lunar New Year Celebration
In addition to celebrating the Lunar New Year, this new annual event will focus on supporting Asian-led businesses and organizations in the area. This free, family-friendly event will include lantern making, a lion dance, and a performance by Seattle Kokon Taiko.
Get more info on the Phinney Center website.
When: Sunday, February 5, 2023 from 2:00 to 5:00
Where: Phinney Center (6532 Phinney Ave N)
10. Chinese New Year Lantern Festival at Seattle Chinese Garden
This will be the first on-site Chinese New Year Lantern Festival held at Seattle Chinese Garden since 2020, so don’t miss out. There will be a craft table, a lion dance, and more activities. There is a suggested donation of $5.
You can see the event’s full schedule on the Seattle Chinese Garden Instagram.
When: Sunday, February 5, 2023 from 1:00 to 4:00
Where: Seattle Chinese Garden (5640 16th Ave. SW)