Join us in celebrating Chinese Language Day on April 20th! This day is dedicated to learning about the history of the Chinese language and how it has shaped their culture. As one of the oldest and most popular languages in the world, there is lots of history behind it. Below you will find more information about the origins and different dialects of the language. Be sure to check out our social media pages that will be full of more interesting facts. You can also read about the Spokane Chinese Association, which works to teach the Chinese language and host cultural events here in Spokane.
Spokane Chinese Association
The Chinese culture is represented by the Spokane Chinese Association for Northwest Winterfest this year. This group has been in the Inland Northwest since 2004, and about 2000 people make up the association!
The most popular holiday tradition celebrated in the Chinese culture is The Chinese New Year! The festival traditionally begins on the first day of the first lunar month (Traditional Chinese: 正月; Pinyin: zhēngyuè) in the Chinese calendar and ends on the 15th; this day is called Lantern Festival.
Food is a major part of the Chinese New Year, as certain dishes are prepared only at this time and are made in good company to be eaten in celebration. Certain dishes are eaten during the Chinese New Year for their symbolic meaning.The auspicious symbolism of these traditional Chinese New Year foods is based on their pronunciations or appearance. Not only do the dishes themselves matter, but also the preparation, and ways of serving and eating mean a lot. The most common Chinese New Year foods include dumplings (饺子）, fish, spring rolls, and niangao （年糕）.
The Fifteenth day of Chinese New Year is also an important celebration. It is called Lantern Festival. It is customary to eat special sweet dumplings called yuanxiao resembling the shape of the full moon. These round balls are made of glutinous rice flour stuffed with sugar fillings, symbolizing reunion. Yuanxiao are also called tāngyuán (Traditional Chinese: 湯圓, Simplified Chinese: 汤圆 ) . During this festival lanterns are displayed, at times as lantern fairs, and children are carrying lanterns to temples.
In China, Chinese Yew Year is a major holiday. Commonly, holiday break ranges from 5 to 14 days. In Spokane, people don’t get days off during Chinese New Year. To help the Chinese and Asian heritage celebrate, Spokane Chinese Association organizes many festive activities!
These activities include live performances for 500+ audiences and cultural fair for nearly 1000 participants. Performances showcase Chinese dances, Chinese music instruments, and Chinese folk music. The cultural fair is an interactive event where participants engage in a variety of activities such as calligraphy, painting and drawing, Chinese traditional hand crafts, Chinese food tasting, and much more.
To preserve cultural heritage and tradition the Spokane Chinese association puts on the following events!
The Chinese Music Concert in summer. This annual event showcases Chinese music performances by talented students with various music instruments.
The Mid-autumn Festival (Moon Festival). Programs of this festival include cultural fair, talent show, storytelling, moon cake tasting, and fellowship. Up to 500 people participate in the Moon Festival each year.
The Chinese language School. The school provides Chinese lessons to the public from September to June. Classes in Chinese painting and arts are also offered. The school enrolls 50-70 students in a normal year.
The Chinese Dance Group. The dance group performs more than 20 times each year for the community. Two thirds of SCA’s event audiences, as well as many the students from Chinese language education programs, were from the community members who do not have Chinese-heritage!
Learn More About The Spokane Chinese Association
Interested in seeing more videos that talk about the Chinese culture? Use these youtube links to find more amazing videos!