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Blog  ·  February 7 2024

2024 Lunar New Year - Year of the Dragon

Year of the Dragon

The Lunar New Year is fast approaching! Saturday, February 10th is the day that the Lunar New Year starts, marking the beginning of a new year on the lunar calendar. Celebrations will be happening across the world, with some being as small as a meal or as big as performative lion dances. This upcoming year is will be the Year of the Dragon, and in Chinese culture the Dragon is an extraordinary creature with immense talent and excellence. It symbolizes good luck, power, and success - all of these will encompass 2024.

Alongside the animals of the Chinese zodiac, each year also bears one of the five elemental signs: Water, Wood, Fire, Earth, and Metal. 2024 is the Year of the Wood Dragon - it will be a year of opportunities, changes, and challenges, but will also be a year of nourishment, evolution, improvement, and abundance.

Millions of people will be celebrating the Lunar New Year, including us in Pierce County. Here’s what Pierce County is offering.

Lunar New Year Celebrations in Pierce County

There are plenty of small ways to celebrate the Lunar New Year on your own, but Pierce County has plenty to offer when it comes to big celebrations. Here are a few events that you can go to celebrate the Lunar New Year in Pierce County.

Lincoln District Lunar New Year Celebration

Date: Sunday, February 11th

Time: 11:00 am - 4:00 pm

Location: Tacoma’s Historic Lincoln District, S. 38th St Tacoma, WA 98418 (between S. Thomspon & S. Tacoma)

Get ready to ring in the Lunar New Year in style next week at Tacoma’s Historic Lincoln District! This annual celebration offers a vibrant tapestry of cultural festivities, entertainment, and community camaraderie. Kicking off with an enchanting opening ceremony at 11 AM, the festivities will unfold along the bustling S. 38th Street. Join the Lincoln District honors diversity, unity, and the rich tapestry of Tacoma’s heritage in this joyous celebration of the Lunar New Year. Some highlights of the celebration include:

Mesmerizing Lion Dancers - Be captivated by the enchanting performances of traditional Lion Dancers, symbolizing prosperity and good fortune for the year ahead.

Red Envelope Ceremony - Join the Le family, proprietors of the beloved Vien Dong restaurant, for a special Red Envelope ceremony, a cherished tradition signifying blessings and abundance.

Vibrant Cultural Performances & Music - DJSEMAJ will set the mood with a curated selection of music, while cultural performances supported by the Tacoma Arts Commission will infuse the day with dynamic and festive energy.

Culinary Delights - Treat your taste buds to a delectable array of flavors from local eateries such as Dragons Crawfish, M&K Deli, and Tho Tuong BBQ. Explore the diverse offerings at the dedicated food truck area, featuring a variety of local favorites.

Shopping Extravaganza - Discover exclusive deals and unique finds at Lincoln District businesses and pop-up vendors, adding a delightful touch of retail therapy to the festivities. Get ready for an unforgettable celebration of culture, community, and new beginnings!

Lincoln District offers the perfect way to celebrate the Lunar New Year as soon as it starts! See more information on its Facebook event.

26th Asia Pacific Cultural Center New Year Celebration

Date: Saturday, February 24th

Time: 11:00 am - 6:00 pm

Location: Tacoma Dome Exhibition Hall, 2727 E D St Tacoma, WA 98421

APCC celebrates the Lunar New Year in their Annual Asia Pacific New Year Celebration at the Tacoma Dome. This community-based arts and culture exhibition features a different host country or culture each year, and this year features Taiwan! This free family event has cultural arts, games, performances, vendors, and live entertainment from dozens of different Asian cultures. Some highlights of the celebration include:

Main Stage Performances - Every year comes with new and exciting performances at the main stage - this year they also have another stage featuring martial arts from displays from different disciplines and cultural groups.

100 Vendors - Shop at a wide array of vendors that offer DIY projects, clothing, jewelry, food, home remodeling, and more.

Food - Alongside shop vendors, many different food vendors are offering the most delicious traditional dishes. Come hungry!

Family Fun - Children have a ton of activities they can participate in, with several cultural hands-on demos. Families can create things together, dress in different cultural attire, and play games.

Live Entertainment - Enjoy live entertainment from the cultures of Indonesia, Japan, Hawaii, Guam, Philippines, China, Thailand, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Vietnam, Cambodia, Okinawa, Micronesia, India, Tokelau, Burma, Pakistan, Tahiti, Laos, Hmong, Mongolia, Singapore, Micronesia Federated States, Korea, and more.

Join Asia Pacific Cultural Center for their 26th annual New Year celebration! Visit their website for more information.

These are a couple of the major events happening in Pierce County to celebrate the Lunar New Year, with dozens of smaller events from different businesses also occurring. Make sure to see if your favorite business has anything planned! The Lunar New Year is a special time for many people in Pierce County, especially those in Tacoma. This is because of a tradition that started in 2003: Monkeyshines.


What is a Monkeyshine? Colloquially, it’s a mischievous or playful activity, but in Tacoma everyone knows it to be glass orbs or medallions with the Chinese zodiac animal stamped onto it hidden in parks, trails, beaches, and various other public spaces.

In the Pacific Northwest, the winter months can often bring a time of sadness for many as we don’t see the sun a lot. Over the years, the Monkeyshines have brought joy to thousands of locals during the rainy, cold season.

During the early days of monkeyshines these hand-blown glass pieces were originally created by Ms. Monkey, an anonymous glass artist. These orbs and medallions were hidden throughout parts of Tacoma for people in the community to find and a tradition was born that continued for 2 years on a much smaller scale than it is today. Over the years, many other artists and the Tacoma Arts Commission have since helped contribute to creating new pieces each year, increasing from around 200 orbs and medallions in the early years to around 2,000 individual pieces currently.

Other artists and hiders have also started to add in their own and calling them “rogues”. In the days leading up to and around the Lunar New Year, over a hundred people in the Tacoma arts community help to hide these beautiful pieces of art throughout the city - which means there are monkeyshines for you to find right now!

Make this year’s Lunar New Year special by going out to celebration events and looking for monkeyshines!