Photo by Susan Fried

This year’s Hmong New Year Celebration will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Seattle Center Armory Food & Event Hall (305 Harrison St.). It is free to the public and features traditional Hmong food, music and dance.
Photo by Susan Fried This year’s Hmong New Year Celebration will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Seattle Center Armory Food & Event Hall (305 Harrison St.). It is free to the public and features traditional Hmong food, music and dance.

Seattle Center Festál continues with the Hmong New Year Celebration from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Seattle Center Armory Food & Event Hall. The free festival, open to the public, is produced in partnership with Hmong Association of Washington.

Hmong New Year Celebration celebrates the end of the harvest season with traditional dances, Hmong food and intricate textile clothing.

This year’s focus is on Hmong arts and culture and includes a schedule of songs, youth dance performances and musical acts, according to a news release.

The Hmong New Year Celebration was created to thank ancestors and welcome a new beginning. Traditionally, this celebration lasts for 10 days, but has been shortened in the United States. This is the last Festál festival of the year.

The Hmong people are an ethnic group who have maintained their own language, customs and ways of life, while adopting the ways of the country in which they live. The Hmong do not have a country of their own, according to the release.

The Hmong Association of WA started in 1983 to serve the Hmong American community in Washington. Today, based on the last census in 2010, there are more than 2,400 in Washington. HAW aims to preserve and promote Hmong culture and education in the community and advocate for the Hmong people.

More information on the festival is available at seattlecenter.com and hmongofwa.org.