Seattle Center Festál presents Tết in Seattle – Vietnamese Lunar New Year in partnership with Tết in Seattle (TIS). This festival celebrates the cultural roots and traditions of Vietnamese Americans during the Vietnamese Lunar New Year. For two days, attendees gain a glimpse into the spirit and energy of Vietnam through arts, music, hands-on experiences, and performances unique to Vietnam. Additional features include offerings of traditional Vietnamese food, awe-inspiring lion dances, curated ao dai fashion show, and an all-inclusive health fair, providing free health services, screenings, and medical support.
Tết occurs on the first day of the Lunar New Year, typically late January or early February, and is celebrated for 3-5 days. During this period, families reunite and put aside the past year’s struggles and pray for blessings in the year to come. Homes are cleaned, fresh clothes are donned, and streets are decorated in preparation for Tết. In every home, altars are set up to welcome ancestors with a full spread of Vietnamese dishes unique to Tết, such as bánh tết, bánh chung, and more.
The colors, red and yellow, are seen to be extremely lucky; it is common to see these colors draped up and down the streets, and donned as apparel. The traditional Vietnamese dress, known as the ‘ao dai’, is a key feature of the Lunar New Year as it showcases the beauty of traditional Vietnamese fashion.
Tết in Seattle (TIS) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, comprised and operated by dedicated local volunteers and supported by the Vietnamese community. TIS was formed in 1996 with a mission to celebrate and preserve traditional Vietnamese culture and heritage in Seattle. In 1997, TIS hosted its first festival at Seattle Center under the Festál brand.
DID YOU KNOW?
- Tết is the most important festival in Vietnam as it celebrates rebirth.
- Vietnamese traditional fashion is easily distinguished by the flowing ‘ao dai’ and conical hats ‘non la’.
- Vietnam is the largest exporter of cashews in the world and the second largest exporter of rice.
- Vietnamese people can be found across the entire world, namely the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, and Australia, as a result of the Vietnam War.