Lion dance, mayoral visit as West Seattle’s Vietnamese Cultural Center celebrates Lunar New Year

(Photos by Nick Adams for WSB. Above, the Au Lac Vovinam Dance Team)
With a lion dance, firecrackers, and even a mayoral appearance, all graced by sunshine, West Seattle’s Vietnamese Cultural Center celebrated the Lunar New Year on Saturday afternoon. But there is more to the celebration than those bright and loud elements:

That’s the center’s director Lee Bui, after lighting incense. Another tradition: A tray of five fruits, as an offering:

Lanh Bui prepared it …

… and placed it on the outdoor altar:

There were photos with their guest, Mayor McGinn:

And time to admire the center’s growing complement of tributes and temples:

What looks like garlands hanging in the foreground of that view were actually strings of firecrackers, waiting to be lit:

That’s Duong Tan setting them off. And of course there was dancing:

From the Au Lac Vovinam team, which performed, here’s Doan Dinh in the foreground:

The celebration was about ceremony, but also about people – like Phuoc Huynh, who spoke:

And Chi Nguyen:

And the uniformed veterans often seen at Cultural Center events, like Len Hua, photographed saluting during the national anthems:

And this time, a special guest:

You’re welcome to visit the center on Saturday afternoons, when it’s open to the public, noon-3 pm at 2236 SW Orchard. The iconic statue on its grounds depicts the 13th-century hero Gen. Tran Hung Dao.

5 Replies to "Lion dance, mayoral visit as West Seattle's Vietnamese Cultural Center celebrates Lunar New Year"

  • anti-obstruction February 17, 2013 (11:10 am)

    Very cool, very beautiful–right in our own backyard, right here in West Seattle! :)

  • lyndab February 17, 2013 (4:20 pm)

    Thanks, Nick. What beautiful photos! So glad to meet some of our neighbors. We were very fortunate to have great weather. Good health and prosperity to all! Chuc mung nam moi!

  • Justsayin'. February 19, 2013 (8:52 pm)

    For whatever it is worth, Firecrackers/Fireworks are illegal within the Seattle City limits. Kind of says a lot that the Mayor attends this event and they were still lit. Time to either enforce the laws on the books for everyone, or get rid of the laws.

    • WSB February 19, 2013 (9:11 pm)

      If there is not a formal exemption for events of cultural/religious significance, there is certainly a tacit one, as research suggests is the case elsewhere. The much-bigger celebrations in the International District have used them too.

  • Justsayin'. February 22, 2013 (5:19 pm)

    WSB, good point. But I do think that this kind of exemption may fuel the flagrant disregard for the law when the 4th comes around, and it does seem like the more internationally flavored neighborhoods have more disregard. White Center and Delridge come to mind.

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