Hundreds gather at Seattle’s Wing Luke Museum to ring in the Lunar New Year

SEATTLE — A Lunar New Year event kicked off Saturday in Seattle’s Chinatown International District.

The Wing Luke Museum welcomed anyone to join in their annual event, and hundreds of families came together for a day of performances, music, and tradition.

As KIRO 7′s Gwen Baumgardner explains, the recent tragedy within the Asian-American community made the celebration bittersweet.

“What they can expect is an experience that will help bring them back to what New Year’s is all about, which is ushering in what’s not working and calling in what we want. And that is more love, more joy,” said Joël Barraquiel Tan with the Wing Luke Museum.

Love and joy in 2023 are a stark contrast from the scenes out of Monterey Park, California, following a Lunar New Year celebration only a week ago. A gunman opened fire, killing 11 people and injuring nine more.

Fear within the community remains, said Devin Cabenella, but so does bravery. “Just showing up is a form of being brave.”

This is an event Cabenella looks forward to each year, but he said there was a significance to Saturday; a chance to display solidarity after a rise in violence against Asian Americans in recent years.

“They do take an emotional toll. I can’t be part of those incidents directly or go to California, but I can show up here and be a part of my community,” said Cabenella.

Tan agrees. He said the museum never considered canceling this year’s event, even after the tragedies in California.

“No! We don’t hide. We don’t cower in fear,” said Tan. “We celebrate.”