Seattle Center Festál highlights the harvest, honors ancestors and anticipates new blessings during the Seattle Hmong New Year 2021, which takes place at 5:30 p.m. Saturday. The event features a celebration of traditional music, dance, poetry, food and fashion. The virtual festival streams on https://www.facebook.com/SeattleCenter and https://www.youtube.com/seattlecenter. 

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

• A Hmong spiritual blessing called Lwm Su (pronounced Loo Soo). The traditional ceremony, performed by Hmong elder Gnia Vue Lor (Nea Voo Lor) calls attention the past year and calls forth 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 singing using breathing techniques, word play and sound. Often melancholy, Kwv Txhiaj expresses longing or love; it can also be playful and used for courtship at new year celebrations. 

• One of the Hmong culture’s most significant musical instruments, the Qeev (Keng). Made up of six to seven lengths of bamboo, each with a different tone, the Qeev’s sounded notes represent words in the Hmong language. 

• Traditional dance, which plays a central role in the Hmong culture and New Year celebrations. It is used to express body movements by correlating them to words from a song. Every performance is unique regarding the song, outfits and dance moves. 

• A food demonstration by Hmong Association of Washington Youth Leaders, who will prepare a recipe for papaya salad, a New Year’s celebration food staple, from the soon-to-be released HAW Youth cookbook. 

• A local Hmong duo and youth band, who will take to the virtual stage to perform covers. 

• A Hmong youth fashion show highlighting a variety of outfits, styles and colors, ranging from traditional to modern, Hmong Chinese and Hmong Vietnamese. 

View festival program details at: http://www.seattlecenter.com/events/featured-events/festal/hmong-new-year-celebration.