The First Annual Edmonds Lunar New Year
Look for the little red lanterns glowing in the windows of shops and businesses around Edmonds. They’ve been displayed in honor of our town’s first annual Lunar New Year, which seeks to recognize and celebrate the distinctive diversity of Asian Americans in Edmonds. It also adds representation in city-recognized holiday celebrations, and we are thrilled to be one of the event’s community partners!
While the Lunar New Year turns technically on February 1, Edmonds will spend the weekend commemorating it as a community: with storytime at the library, lion dances up and downtown, a free community movie, and various specials at businesses all around town.
History of Lunar New Year
Tied to the Chinese lunar calendar, Lunar New Year (also called Chinese New Year or Spring Festival) began as a time for feasting and to honor household and heavenly deities, as well as ancestors. Lunar New Year has a long history—about 3,500 years. Its exact beginning is not recorded, although some believe that Lunar New Year originated in the Shang Dynasty (1600–1046 BC) when people held sacrificial ceremonies in honor of gods and ancestors at the beginning or at the end of each year.
Celebrations will take place both up and downtown in Edmonds. We’ll kick off at 10:30am on Saturday, January 29, with Lunar New Year Story Time at Sno-Isle Libraries. This online event hosted by Miss Kim and Miss Alex is for the whole family. We’ll learn about, celebrate, and read stories from many east Asian countries, including China, Vietnam, Singapore, and South Korea. This event will be a great introduction to Lunar New Year for kiddos who may not celebrate it already!
At 10:30, head up to Edmonds Lutheran Church at 23525 84th Ave W to take in the first performance of the day of the Lion Dance. There will also be a Kung Fu demonstration by Master Leong’s NW Kung Fu and Martial Arts team. Never seen a Lion Dance? Check out the video on the Edmonds Lunar New Year website for a taste.
Enjoy lunch while you watch the downtown showing of the Lion Dance at noon during the first Edmonds Winter Market between Main and Bell Streets. You can grab a snack from one of the vendors or surrounding restaurants, many of which will be offering food and drink specials! The Winter Market will include and feature many Asian vendors in celebration of the event as well. Plus, there will be a designated Lunar New Year booth where children can pick up their very own red envelopes, sponsored by the Foundation for Edmonds School District. If that’s not enough, our friends from Hunni Water will be sponsoring beverages (while supplies last).
Once you’re perfectly jazzed and satiated from your Lion Dance lunch and stroll through the Winter Market, walk a few steps to the Edmonds Theater to watch the free showing of the Lunar New Year Community Movie “Over the Moon” at 1pm, sponsored by the Mayo Family. After all, there’s always more room for popcorn, isn’t there?
The fun isn’t over once the movie credits start rolling! Walk a block up Main to Bench & Board where they are giving out fortune cards and Feng Shui coins with your purchase. Head back down towards the fountain and take a left on 5th to Boutique Rogue, where you can get a red envelope with a 5-15% discount on your next visit when you spend $40 or more. Head back down Main and turn right on 4th to Edmonds Crow, where you can add a Year of The Tiger necklace, good luck coin bracelets, and assorted Lunar New Year cards to your collection.
Additionally, you’ll find celebratory drink and menu item specials at Feedme restaurants, including at Bar Dojo, one of the Edmonds Lunar New Year event sponsors. Kelnero will be ringing in Lunar New Year by serving up cocktails featuring the most popular spirit in the world that you’ve probably never heard of: Baijiu! More prevalent than vodka and whiskey combined, Baijiu is a classic Chinese spirit made primarily from sorghum. Give it a try in one of their two featured cocktails to experience a traditional Sichuan taste with a little Kelnero flair.
First Annual Lunar New Year Raffle + Merch
Oh, and did we mention there will be a raffle for a gift basket full of goodies from places like downtown merchants including Anchor Chic Consignment, ARTspot, Saetia, Edmonds Bookshop, The Wooden Spoon, FIELD by Morgan & Moss, Walnut Street Coffee, Rogue, The MarKet, Workhorse HQ, Ombu Salon + Spa, Sauna Hut, Bench and Board and SanKai. Purchase your tickets at the Lunar New Year Edmonds booth at the Winter Market.
You can also pick up your own Lunar New Year Edmonds merch at their booth at the Winter Market. Stay tuned to the Edmonds Lunar New Year social media channels for more information!
Lunar New Year Art
As you visit downtown businesses, look for displays of Lunar New Year themed art from students at local elementary schools. Then take a quick walk up to the perimeter fence at Frances Anderson Center to view an art installation designed by Edmonds-Woodway senior Caitlin Chung, with the support of the City of Edmonds Arts Commission.
Edmonds Lunar New Year is sponsored by Reece Homes, Hunni Water, Bar Dojo and Tung & Tiffany Bui. Special thanks to community partners that made the celebration possible: Edmonds Chamber of Commerce, City of Edmonds, Edmonds Diversity Commission, North Chinese Grace Church, The Foundation for Edmonds School District, Edmonds Art Commission, and us, The Edmonds Downtown Alliance.
Stay in The Know:
恭喜发财 (Gōng xǐ fā cái)! That’s “Happiness and Prosperity” in Mandarin.
See you there!
By Whitney Popa, photos by Matt Hulbert