Wanderings: Lunar New Year celebrations in Seattle

Happy Lunar New Year!

(and happy spring, if you live in the Pacific NW! These daffodils are from my garden and this is my second vase of them this season. The ram/goat card is a wood block print from my favorite dreaming nomad.)

blogHappyNewYearThis past weekend I was finally able to do something I’ve been wanting to do for years – I went to Seattle’s International District to celebrate the new year. It was a perfect day for an outing – mild temperatures, sunny, breezy, clear skies. I met my friend Space and we had a fun day out.

blogIntlDistrictfeetThe district put on a food walk with 40-odd local restaurants serving $2 sampler plates of deliciousness – everything from dim sum to desserts. Space and I planned out our day based on which foods we most wanted to eat, sticking mainly to vegetarian offerings. We started with taiyaki (adzuki bean filled fish shaped waffles) and moved on to crab Rangoons, vegan sesame beef skewers, dim sum, Thai tea, mango tofu curry and pad Thai.

bloglunarnewyearfoodWe joined the crowd gathered to see the cute kid’s fashion competition. We only saw the very end – the top 3, but there were lots of cute kids in fancy outfits on the streets. Lots of cute puppies too!

A little later we watched a group playing taiko drums. Sometimes those youth performances can be kind of awkward, but the taiko group was excellent. I just looked up their website and discovered that they were the same taiko group we came across randomly one day last summer while wandering in Seattle. BTW in the picture below the stage is on a slope! I know it looks pretty weird.

blogtaikodrummingLater we were watching an awkward performance on the stage when the lion dance started out in the street. I guess there were other lion dances, maybe popping up randomly around town? They weren’t on the program. But I saw photos on the event Facebook page later of different colored lions. We crowded in with the group and watched on everyone else’s phone screens. Isn’t that how the world works these days? I wasn’t expecting firecrackers since Seattle banned all fireworks. I heard about the community asking for a special religious exemption last year. There were a bunch of police on horses supervising the crowd nearby so I assume the exemption was given. blogliondancecrowds

It was a good day. The food was excellent and we got to try a lot of restaurants that we might not have ventured into otherwise. The dim sum place we went to had tasty, filling food for very low prices. And the vegan place up towards Beacon Hill is great to know about. I would never have made my way up there otherwise.

I had been debating treating this day as a photography outing. I had my film SLR out to bring but at the last minute I decided that I would have more fun if I focused more on the food and hanging out with my friend. I was able to take these photos for instagram sharing and memory keeping using my iPhone. They may not be the best photos, but I really only needed a few decent shots to remember my day by. I definitely made the right choice.

Seattle is a beautiful place when the weather is clear (and pretty cool even when it’s not, I should add). The ferry ride home was beautiful.

blogeveninglightSeattle

blogLNYoutfit

I was being my weird stubborn self by wearing short sleeves on a day when everyone else was wearing coats, but I keep warm by layering heavily around my trunk (merino tee, double layer knit dress, cotton dress, and a cardigan) and trying to keep moving. Sunny brick walls are also useful for warming up next to. But I had a sweater to add for the ferry ride and walk home when it was really cold. It just wasn’t as cute an outfit with the sweater on ;)

Thanks for stopping by,

Jo:)

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