Lunar New Year Celebration Ideas

Last updated: January 20, 2023, at 6:32 p.m. PT

Originally published: January 20, 2023, at 6:31 p.m. PT

"Celebrate Lunar New Year" against a photo of twinkle lights and red lanterns

Celebrating the Year of the Rabbit and the Year of the Cat! Find Lunar New Year events in the Greater Seattle Area.

Do you celebrate the New Year on January 1? If you do, that’s based on the solar calendar which tracks the 365 days it takes the Earth to orbit the sun. Many cultures around the world instead follow the lunar calendar, which defines months based on lunar cycles. Cultures that celebrate Lunar New Year include Asian, Islamic, Jewish, and Canadian indigenous peoples, each with slightly different times and traditions. 

While the solar calendar may seem like a global standard, this is only a result of colonialism. Controlling how time was measured was fundamental to controlling territory. By forcing the solar calendar on the communities being colonized, productivity was prioritized over their cultural values and practices, disconnecting them from their environmental rhythms, traditions, and identities.  

The unchanging nature of the solar calendar means each year begins and ends on the same day, but the lunar calendar varies and so typically begins sometime between January 21 and February 20. Each year in the lunar calendar is represented by 1 of the 12 zodiac animals. This is the Year of the Rabbit, or the Year of the Cat in some cultures. While January 22 will be the first day of this Lunar New Year, celebrations don’t just last for one day! They last until the first full moon arrives, and we’ve put together a list of local events for you to join in: 

Downtown/International District 

Everything Everywhere All At Once Watch Party and Panelist Discussion

January 22 from 12:30-5:00 pm

screening "Everything Everywhere All At Once," followed by "Enter the Bagel," a moderated panel discussion (priority for QTBIPOC youth)


Wing Luke Museum Lunar New Year Fair

January 28 from 10:00 am-3:00 pm

crafting, games, art, dances, calligraphy, and more 


Microsoft Asian Spring Festival Celebration

January 28 at 12:00 pm & 6:30 pm

afternoon festival with games, food, and performances, and an evening gala performance  


Chinatown/International District Lunar New Year

February 4 from 11:00 am-4:00 pm

streets lined with vendors and filled with performances 


Lunar New Year on the Pier

February 22 from 2:00-4:00 pm

lion dance, other performances, food trucks, and a fire pit 



Peter Kirk Community Center Lunar New Year

January 28 from 2:00-4:00 pm

crafts, food, dancing, and education about different cultures  



Edmonds Lunar New Year

January 21 from 10:00 am-3:00 pm 

a free event with dances and a winter market



Sammamish Lunar New Year Celebration

January 21 from 1:00-4:00 pm

a free event, including dances, martial arts demos, music, and interactive activities for kids  



Shorelake Arts Lantern Festival

January 21 from 12:00-3:30 pm

a free event with dances, martial arts demos, hands-on art, and food trucks 


South Seattle 

Lunar New Year Celebration at Southcenter Mall

January 21 from 12:00-3:00 pm

lion dance, martial arts, live music  


West Seattle 

Seattle Chinese Garden Lantern Festival

February 5 from 1:00-4:00 pm

Tai Chi demo, lion dance, music, crafts, and lanterns