Journey through one thousand years of Vietnamese history at Seattle Center Festál: Tết Festival – Vietnamese Lunar New Year. The celebration marks the start of the year of the Monkey with lucky money, martial arts, dance, visual arts and Children of the Dragon, 11am-7pm, Feb. 13 – 14, in Seattle Center Armory and Fisher Pavilion.
The 20th annual Tết Festival opens with a traditional lion dance, accompanied by a live drum ensemble and firecrackers, in a ritual designed to ward off bad luck and ensure a prosperous New Year. Two Vietnamese musicians headline the festival: Lam Anh performs Saturday at 4:45pm and Don Hồ on Sunday at 4:30pm. Other performance highlights include Vietnamese opera, traditional folk music by Hướng Việt Performing Arts Group, a Vovinam martial arts demonstration and a live fashion show highlighting the history of Vietnamese clothing by Áo Dài Rainbow.
Learn to prepare traditional Vietnamese spring rolls in a special workshop or apply your skills on traditional Vietnamese instruments and brush script writing. The Kids ‘n’ Tết booth provides 11 unique activities for children of all ages. Other children’s activities include a Vietnamese Spelling Bee, Saturday at 1pm, and a Vietnamese Knowledge Bowl, Sunday at 2pm.
A marketplace serves traditional Vietnamese cuisine including noodle dishes, stir-fry and grilled meats. Also available for purchase are small children’s toys and ornaments. A health fair, in partnership with Swedish Medical Center, runs from 11am-4pm on Sunday in the Armory Lofts. Free blood pressure, diabetes and cholesterol screenings are available, along with health insurance enrollment assistance.
In 2016, Seattle Center Festál explores the “art of culture” in 22 celebrations on weekends throughout the year. The events, organized by ethnic/cultural organizations in partnership with Seattle Center, make use of indoor and outdoor spaces on the grounds and offer wide-ranging entertainment, food, visual displays and exhibits and hands-on learning opportunities. The annual series forms the bedrock of public programming at Seattle Center, captivating and enlightening festival-goers as they experience the distinct cultures that influence the character and course of our broader community.
Seattle Center Festál is a program of Seattle Center Productions. Admission is free-of-charge. For more information on Tết Festival and other Seattle Center public programming, click on Seattle Center or call 206 684-7200.