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Bellevue, WA 98004
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Visit the Bellevue Collection Cultural Celebrations at Bellevue Square where Wing Luke Museum will have an interactive digital exhibit program about Oshogatsu, Japanese New Year!
Nov 24, 2023 - Jan 1, 2024
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Mon-Sat: 10 am - 9 pm / Sun: 11 am - 7 pm
What Is Oshogatsu?
Japanese New Year is celebrated on January 1st and is one of the most important holidays for Japanese Americans. Families gather back together to celebrate with festivities and feasting. Families will reunite over delicious holiday foods called Osechi Ryori with each food like sweet black beans or mashed roasted chestnuts symbolizing a different wish for a prosperous and successful new year. An important flavor of the New Year is Mochi (steamed rice cakes). Some families continue the tradition of making mochi together called Mochitsuki and historically the mochi was pounded with large hammers in large wooden mortars. Mochi making is associated with rabbits and the moon and this year is the Year of the Rabbit in the Japanese Zodiac. Families will also decorate their houses with plum blossoms, pine boughs, and bamboo that represent making it through the cold times of winter and a welcome wish for spring!
Who Celebrates Oshogatsu In Seattle?
Seattle and the Eastside were home to many Japanese American farms and dairies whose families carried on traditions from Japan, like Japanese New Year. Seattle was home to a bustling Nihonmachi or Japantown that spanned about 60+ city blocks contained within what is the Chinatown-International District today. After World War II and the forced incarceration of Japanese Americans during WWII, the effects are still palpable with only a small fraction of the Nihonmachi remaining (about 3 blocks) and with many of the businesses surviving in memories alone.
Wing Luke Museum celebrates the Japanese New Year, and also the traditions of our other Asian American, Pacific Islander, and Native Hawaiian Communities, during our Lunar New Year Fair. Our youth-focused fair is our big party to celebrate the New Year through arts and crafts, lion dance performances, and prizes! Come visit us on Saturday, January 28th to celebrate the Year of the Rabbit with your family by booking a ticket for our fair.
Bellevue Square, 575 Bellevue Square, Bellevue, WA 98004
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Friday, 22 December, 2023
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