Seattle Center Festál: Tết Festival – Vietnamese Lunar New Year, 11 am – 7 pm, Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 21-22, in Seattle Center Armory and Fisher Pavilion, launches the annual Festál series each year. Fiery dragons preserve ancient rituals, while martial arts, dance and visual arts unite the Vietnamese community and introduce its unique culture to the region.
This Lunar New Year Celebration welcomes the return of spring and chases out evil spirits with the traditional roaring lion dance and the crackle of firecrackers. The festival theme in 2017 is Tết in Seattle: Roots of Our Ancestry, ushering in the year of the rooster.
This 21st annual Tết festival features performers exploring the breadth of Vietnamese culture, from traditional to contemporary. Enjoy pop music performances by Duy Truong, Lam Nhat Tien and festival headliner Tam Doan. Experience traditional Vietnamese culture in musical performances by Hướng Việt and mandolinist Kim Uyen, dance performances by local temple and church groups and a demonstration of Vovinam martial arts. Festival-goers may join a lion dance workshop and perform the ritual dance designed to ward off bad luck and ensure a prosperous New Year.
Local Vietnamese chefs offer a variety of cooking demonstrations, teaching all to make delicious Vietnamese cuisine in their own homes. Booths serve traditional specialties including noodle dishes, egg rolls, fried rice, kebabs, vegetarian tofu dishes and Vietnamese iced coffee.
Young festival-goers will find plenty of fun in the “Kid in Tết” area, with arts and craft activities designed specifically for children. Students from local Vietnamese language schools put their learning to the test in a Vietnamese spelling bee and knowledge bowl.
In 2017, Seattle Center Festál celebrates 20 years of global music, dance, art, crafts, history, food and insight presented through a unique partnership among community organizations and Seattle Center. This illuminating series of cultural festivals, held on weekends throughout the year, seeks to connect people in ways that build understanding, dispel stereotypes and generate pride among the generations who participate in these shared experiences. Festál provides a stage and platform for their traditions, accomplishments and artistic expression, captivating and enlightening festival-goers as they experience the distinct cultures that shape 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 Tet Festival – Vietnamese Lunar New Year, visit www.tetinseattle.org, and to learn more about this collection of ethnic cultural events and other Seattle Center public programming, visit www.seattlecenter.com or call 206-684-7200.