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Tết in Seattle – Vietnamese Lunar New Year took place on January 14-15, 2023, 11am-6pm at the Armory Food & Event Hall and Fisher Pavilion. The festival is part of the Seattle Center Festál series.
Seattle Center Festál is a year-round series of 24 free cultural festivals, produced in partnership with community organizations. In 2022, Festál celebrated 25 years of stories and traditions, ushering in a new era of hybrid programming. Learn more about Festál and subscribe to the newsletter for updates.
Since 1996, Tết in Seattle has celebrated the culture of Vietnamese and Vietnamese-Americans in the Pacific Northwest through art, food, music, and traditions. 2023 was the 27th annual festival and the Year of the Cat. There were special-live performances, lion dances, local food vendors, art-exhibits, fashion show, hands-on activities for the kids, and family-oriented events for all to enjoy. In addition, there were headline singers and an annual health fair that offered free screenings (eye health, osteoporosis, etc.) along with interepter services and immunization services.
View the 2023 highlights below:
Seattle Center Festál presents Tết in Seattle – Vietnamese Lunar New Year in partnership with Tết in Seattle (TIS). This festival celebrates the cultural roots and traditions of Vietnamese Americans during the Vietnamese Lunar New Year. For two days, attendees gain a glimpse into the spirit and energy of Vietnam through arts, music, hands-on experiences, and performances unique to Vietnam. Additional features include offerings of traditional Vietnamese food, awe-inspiring lion dances, curated ao dai fashion show, and an all-inclusive health fair, providing free health services, screenings, and medical support.
Tết occurs on the first day of the Lunar New Year, typically late January or early February, and is celebrated for 3-5 days. During this period, families reunite and put aside the past year’s struggles and pray for blessings in the year to come. Homes are cleaned, fresh clothes are donned, and streets are decorated in preparation for Tết. In every home, altars are set up to welcome ancestors with a full spread of Vietnamese dishes unique to Tết, such as bánh tết, bánh chung, and more.
The colors, red and yellow, are seen to be extremely lucky; it is common to see these colors draped up and down the streets, and donned as apparel. The traditional Vietnamese dress, known as the ‘ao dai’, is a key feature of the Lunar New Year as it showcases the beauty of traditional Vietnamese fashion.
Tết in Seattle (TIS) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, comprised and operated by dedicated local volunteers and supported by the Vietnamese community. TIS was formed in 1996 with a mission to celebrate and preserve traditional Vietnamese culture and heritage in Seattle. In 1997, TIS hosted its first festival at Seattle Center under the Festál brand.
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