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Hmong New Year Celebration Highlights the Harvest, Honors Ancestors and Anticipates New

Seattle Center Festál: Seattle Hmong New Year 2021, 6:30 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 6, gives thanks at the end of the harvest season and honors ancestors with a celebration of traditional music, dance, poetry, food and fashion. The virtual festival streams on Facebook and YouTube.  

This final festival in the 2021 Festál series features the following presentations and performances:

Dancers holding fans
  • A Hmong spiritual blessing called Lwm Su (pronounced Loo Soo).The traditional ceremony, performed by Hmong elder Gnia Vue Lor (Nea Voo Lor)calls attention the past year and calls forth a new year filled with new blessings. 
  • One of the oldest and most traditional Hmong art forms,Kwv Txhiaj (Ku Tia), which combines poetry and singing using breathing techniques, word play and sound. Often melancholy, Kwv Txhiaj expresses longing or love; it can also be playful and used for courtship at new year celebrations.  
  • One of the Hmong culture’s most significant musical instruments, the Qeev (Keng). Made up of six to seven lengths of bamboo, each with a different tone, the Qeev’s sounded notes represent words in the Hmong language.  
  • Traditional dance, which plays a central role in the Hmong culture and New Year celebrations. It is used to express body movements by correlating them to words from a song. Every performance is unique regarding the song, outfits and dance moves.  
  • A food demonstration by Hmong Association of Washington Youth Leaders, who will prepare a recipe for papaya salad, a New Year’s celebration food staple, from the soon-to-be released HAW Youth cookbook.  
  • A local Hmong duo and youth band, who will take to the virtual stage to perform covers.  
  • A Hmong youth fashion show highlighting a variety of outfits, styles and colors, ranging from traditional to modern, Hmong Chinese and Hmong Vietnamese.  

To view the festival program details click here

Seattle Center Festál highlights the culturally rich communities who help shape the character and course of our region. The series, presented almost entirely virtually in 2021, provides a forum for cultural groups to come together and share their stories with the greater community. The series began in 1997 to offer a central place for festivals to invite the public to join in their unique cultural expression.  

Seattle Center presents Seattle Center Festál: Hmong New Year Celebration in partnership with the Hmong Association of Washington, a community run organization whose mission is to preserve and promote the culture, advocate for the Hmong people and promote education in the community. Streaming is free of charge. For more information, visit or call 206-684-7200. 

About Seattle Center Festál: 

Seattle Center Festál, Where the World Gathers, presents 24 ethnic cultural festivals on weekends throughout the year, virtually in 2021, to connect people in ways that build understanding, dispel stereotypes and generate pride among the generations who participate in these shared experiences. Seattle Center Festál is produced with the generous support of KUOW 94.9 Public Radio, T-Mobile, 4Culture, the City of Seattle and Seattle Center Foundation.