Lunar New Year Celebration Returns to Spokane
By Emma Craven
Spokane’s Lunar New Year event is returning to the community after 89 years.
“The 2022 Spokane Lunar New Year event is a celebration welcoming the new Year of the Tiger hosted by Spokane’s United We Stand, a multicultural community organization,” said Event Chair Vina Cathcart.
The event will take place Feb. 5 from 1-7 p.m. at Riverfront Park.
Lunar New Year marks the beginning of a calendar year in which the months are based upon moon cycles, hence the name Lunar New Year.
“Lunar New Year is widely celebrated in East Asian countries,” said Cathcart.
The Lunar New Year is one of the most important times of the year for the Asian community, so reestablishing this event is important, he said.
According to event organizers, the original celebration came to a halt in 1933 because of the war. Frequent police raids, new ordinances forbidding Japanese immigrants to work at night, racism, the incarceration of Japanese Americans after World War II made it difficult for the local Asian community to thrive.
“Hosting a Chinese Lunar New Year event in downtown Spokane will bring attention to places and events that our community members might not know about otherwise. But more importantly; it provides healing, a sense of community & belonging to Spokane’s Asian residents whose contributions have been erased & buried for the last 171 years,” the event website reads.
Cathcart said this event and the United We Stand organization is especially important with the rate of Asian Hate increasing across the country.
Cathcart said, “The Asian community has experienced a rise in anti-Asian rhetoric and racial aggression over the past two years, which is what inspired the creation of Spokane’s United We Stand, an organization that has always focused on ways to bring residents of Spokane together in unity by celebrating and sharing in the arts, culture, and heritage of our community.”
The event will include numerous cultural vendors, artists, food trucks, demonstrations and performances. The first 500 attendees will receive special swag bags with Spokane Chiefs tickets and gift cards to local restaurants and businesses and a chance to win free carousel rides.
The event will also be co-hosting a COVID-19 vaccine clinic with the Hispanic Business Professional Association.
The event will culminate with a fireworks show at 7 p.m to ring in the Year of the Tiger.
Emma Craven is an undergraduate student at Gonzaga University majoring in English and Psychology. She is originally from Leavenworth and currently lives in Spokane with her family. She grew up in a half Jewish and half Catholic household. She has a writing background in news writing, poetry, and fiction pieces. She has previously been published in two of Gonzaga’s writing journals. Outside of school and work, you can find her swimming, reading, spending time with family, or watching Grey’s Anatomy.