LUNAR NEW YEAR 2023
2nd Annual Spokane Lunar New Year
ANHPI Business EXPO
(Asian Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander)
Fireworks Start at 7 pm
Back after 89 Years!
Spokane’s first Lunar New Year was celebrated in 1888.
In 1889, “Thousands of crackers were fired, bombs exploded, and Chinese rockets were sent heavenward," wrote the reporter. "Hundreds of people, attracted by the noise, blocked the streets" (The Morning Review, "The Fusillade of Fun").
He reported that guests, "no matter what race," were invited into the rooms of Chinatown residents and "made welcome with viands and liquors." Roast pig or chicken were the favorite foods; Chinese whiskey, or "Sam Shu" the favored liquors. "Before the food is eaten it is set out before a picture or image of Joss (an idol)," wrote the correspondent.
"Punk or Joss sticks (incense sticks) are lighted and set near. As the pale blue smoke ascends to heaven, each guest breathes a prayer and sends it up in the smoke to the spirits of departed friends and relatives to partake of the feast" (The Morning Review, "The Fusillade of Fun").
In a merchant's store on Front Street, a Chinese band "sawed and hammered away with all their might" on three fiddles, a tom-tom, and a cymbal.
The last Chinese New Year event was held in 1933. Continuing the Lunar New Year event in downtown Spokane after 89 years will bring attention to places and events that our community members might not know about otherwise. But more importantly; it provides healing, a sense of community & belonging to Spokane’s Asian residents whose contributions have been erased & buried.