Photo depicting two martial artists "fighting." One martial artist wears red while the one in blue is jumping to avoid the attack.

PHOTO ESSAY: Hundreds of Community Members Celebrate Year of the Tiger in Chinatown

The annual celebration of Lunar New Year held by the Chinatown-International District Business Improvement Area returned to the Chinatown-International District on April 30, bringing tons of excitement to community members after two years of pandemic.

by Debby Cheng


The annual celebration of Lunar New Year hosted by the Chinatown-International District Business Improvement Area (CIDBIA), a celebration that has been traditionally held for decades, returned to the community after two years of pandemic. While last year CIDBIA opted to do a food walk only, this year will be the first Lunar New Year celebration back in-person with the street festival.

The beginning of the Year of the Tiger, commonly known as the Lunar New Year, landed on Feb. 1 this year. CIDBIA had to postpone the event to April due to the rapid development of the omicron variant earlier this year. Connie Au-Yeung, the communications and marketing manager of CIDBIA, said they were working their best to follow the safety protocols. “There are obviously some difficulties planning around health and safety guidelines, but ultimately the goal is to invigorate the space and the neighborhood,” she said. “There’s nothing we can’t get past.”

The event managed to happen on April 30 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., drawing hundreds of people from different communities to gather in Chinatown. The celebration showcased different entertainers, live performances, and vendors, and aimed to create an economically vibrant neighborhood. A variety of traditional Chinese art performances were performed on the Hing Hay Park stage, including lion dance, Chinese cultural dance, and multiple martial arts showcases.

A member of the Mak Fai Kung Fu Dragon & Lion Dance Association is carrying the lion head during their parade on the Chinatown street. They were walking down the streets in Chinatown, closely interacting with community members. (Photo: Debby Cheng)
A young member of the Wudang Internal Martial Arts performance team is performing swordsmanship with her partner on the Hing Hay Park stage. (Photo: Debby Cheng)
A member of the Mak Fai Kung Fu Dragon & Lion Dance Association is playing a lion dance drum alongside the lion dance life performance on the Hing Hay Park stage. (Photo: Debby Cheng)
A member of the Seattle Kokon Taiko group is playing taiko with other members on the Hing Hay Park stage. (Photo: Debby Cheng)
Vendors opened on both sides of the streets in Chinatown. It has been two years since the Chinatown-International District was crowded with community members. (Photo: Debby Cheng)
A child is holding a lion dance head after watching the lion dance performance in Chinatown. There was a booth during the event that offered to let participants try carrying the lion head. A number of kids were lining up to try this out. (Photo: Debby Cheng)
A kid offers to share his light bulb beverage with his peer. The light bulb drinks were particularly popular at the event, as a number of participants were seen drinking with a light bulb on the streets. (Photo: Debby Cheng)
Community members are sitting on the sidewalk in Chinatown, enjoying food they bought from the vendors. (Photo: Debby Cheng)
A small business owner is organizing his goods on a sidewalk in Chinatown. The stall was one of the few stalls that did not have a tent. They have been working under the bright sun for hours. (Photo: Debby Cheng)

📸 Featured Image: Two martial artists from the Wudang Internal Martial Arts performance team are performing b​​ōjutsu, a martial art of stick fighting, on the Hing Hay Park stage. They were fighting against each other, and the performer in a blue uniform was jumping to avoid the other performer’s “attack” on April 30, 2022. (Photo: Debby Cheng)

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