TACOMA, WA: Traditions keep culture alive, honor roots and bridge the gap between generations. On Jan. 28, the community is invited to take part in the Lunar New Year traditions of Vietnam during Tết Lunar New at the Eastside Community Center.
This year’s celebration puts an emphasis on bridging the gap between generations through celebrating cultural traditions.
“This is very special for us this year because the children are growing up so fast and we want to remind them what our culture is about,” said Lisa Mathusz, event organizer and leader of Golden Bamboo Walking Group, a Vietnamese women’s organization.
The festival is hosted by Metro Parks and produced by Golden Bamboo Walking Group. It is one of several community celebrations voted on by community members through a participatory budgeting process funded by Tacoma Creates and facilitated by the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department.
Tacoma’s Tet festival dates back to 1990 and found a new home last year at Eastside Community Center.
One of the highlights is always a cultural Vietnamese dance by the Sunflowers, a group for young girls led by Mathusz. Senior members of Golden Bamboo will also perform their own dance routine.
“It shows the people that, hey, you’re never too old to do anything!” Mathusz said.
There will also be a fashion show featuring traditional áo dài dresses with models from three generations of Vietnamese women; a traditional lion dance; martial arts demonstrations and modern and classical Vietnamese music. A free lunch with meat and vegetarian options will be provided, prepared by Eastside restaurant Dragon’s Crawfish.
“Whether you grew up celebrating Tết or this is your first Lunar New Year, these cultural celebrations are uplifting for all who attend,” said Hollie Rogge, Deputy Director of Community & Neighborhood Parks. “We’re grateful for the opportunity to partner with Golden Bamboo and our other Tacoma Creates funded partners to help our community celebrate their heritage. It’s a great experience for everyone to learn more about one another through cuisine, performances and customs.”
For guests who do not have Vietnamese heritage, this celebration is a great way to learn about cultural traditions and Lunar New Year, a holiday celebrated annually by more than a billion people across the world. It is the most important holiday in Vietnamese culture and marks the beginning of spring.
WHEN: 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. January 28, 2024
WHERE: Eastside Community Center, 1721 E. 56th St, Tacoma, WA 98404
PRICE: Free (Vietnamese lunch included)
LEARN MORE: Tet Lunar New Year – Metro Parks Tacoma