Friday, August 5 2022

Seattle Center Festál: Seattle Hmong New Year 2021, 6:30 p.m., Saturday, November 6, Thanks for the end of the harvest season and honors ancestors with a celebration of traditional music, dance, poetry, food and fashion. The virtual festival is broadcast on https://www.facebook.com/SeattleCenter and https://www.youtube.com/seattlecenter.

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

  • A Hmong spiritual blessing called Lwm Su (pronounced Loo Soo). The traditional ceremony, performed by the elder Hmong Gnia Vue Lor (Nea Voo Lor) draws attention to the past year and calls for 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 song using breathing, pun and sound techniques. Often melancholy, Kwv Txhiaj expresses desire or love; it can also be playful and used for courtship during new year celebrations.
  • One of the most important musical instruments in Hmong culture, the Qeev (Keng). Made up of six to seven lengths of bamboo, each with a different tone, the sound notes of the Qeev represent words from the Hmong language.
  • Traditional dance, which plays a central role in Hmong culture and New Year celebrations. It is used to express body movements by correlating them to the words of a song. Each performance is unique when it comes to song, outfit and dance moves.
  • A cooking demonstration by the Hmong Association of Youth Leaders in Washington, who will prepare a recipe for papaya salad, a staple for the New Year’s celebration, from the soon-to-be-released HAW Youth cookbook.
  • A duo and a group of young local Hmong, who will take to the virtual stage to perform covers.
  • A fashion show for Hmong youth showcasing a variety of outfits, styles and colors, from traditional to modern, including Chinese Hmong and Vietnamese Hmong.

Check out the festival program details on: http://www.seattlecenter.com/events/featured-events/festal/hmong-new-year-celebration.

Seattle Center Festál shines a light on the culturally rich communities that help shape the character and journey 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 larger community. The series began in 1997 to provide a central place for festivals to invite audiences to join in their unique cultural expression.

The Seattle Center presents Seattle Center Festál: Hmong New Year Celebration in partnership with the Hmong Association of Washington, a community organization whose mission is to preserve and promote culture, defend the Hmong people, and promote education in the community. Streaming is free. For more information visit www.seattlecenter.com/festal or call 206-684-7200.

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