History of Tet In Seattle (TIS)

Tet In Seattle is a volunteer organization in its entirety, ranging from the members who make up the Organizing Committee to the performers on the days of the Festival. The organization exists only because of the efforts and contributions of many dedicated volunteers all year round who are dedicated to promoting and preserving Vietnamese culture through the celebration of Tet.

Tet In Seattle was formed in 1996 by four Vietnamese organizations (VSA-UW, Helping Link, Hoi Vo Thuat Thieu Nien Tacoma, and Lien Doan Huong Dao Viet Hung) interested in celebrating and preserving traditional Vietnamese culture in Seattle. With this in mind, these groups wanted to organize an event that would unite the Vietnamese community and introduce its unique culture to other ethnic communities in the greater Seattle area. The Vietnamese observance of the Lunar New Year, Tet Nguyen Dan, or simply Tet, was the best means to accomplish this endeavor. Tet 1997 was the first festival hosted by Tet In Seattle.

By mid 1998, Tet In Seattle had grown to become an organization on its own. The Organizing Committee is composed of new volunteers and some members from the original 4 organizations, acting as individuals rather than as representatives of any group. These Vietnamese individuals come together to contribute their talents, time, and effort to help realize the mission and goals of Tet In Seattle. Members of the Organizing Committee offer their knowledge and skills from a variety of educational backgrounds including engineering, biochemistry, foreign languages, actuarial sciences, computer sciences, public health, finance, and business administration. The contribution of each member to Tet In Seattle is inspired by a personal commitment to serve the Vietnamese community.

Tet in Seattle operated as a non-profit organization under the umbrella of the Ethnic Heritage Council for several years. In early 2002, Tet In Seattle was awarded its 501c3 status.

Origin of TIS Logo

The Tet In Seattle Logo was conceptualized and designed by Sinh Tran, Program Director, to represent the many facets of the organization and the Vietnamese community.

TIS LogoThe venue for the organization is recognized by its international landmark, the Space Needle. The green color of the Space Needle stands for Seattle’s symbolic title, the Emerald City.

To promote inter-generational bridge cross-generational relationships among of Vietnamese-Americans by promoting through active participation in Tet Nguyen Dan and other cultural activities throughout the year

At the foot of the Space Needle are three hoa mai, plum blossoms, representing the three regions of Vietnam: North, Central and South. Hoa mai blossoms during Tet and are used by the Vietnamese for decorations. The growing overseas Vietnamese community and the new Vietnamese-American generation are represented by the budding hoa mai, having the potential to blossom into a rich and colorful community.

The golden arch is formed by the phrases “Chao Mung Tet Nguyen Dan” and “Lunar New Year Celebration”. They are written in both Vietnamese and English to reflect the bilingual and bicultural nature of the organization and the Vietnamese community and to emphasize Tet In Seattle’s mission and goals. The arch also represents the outline of a new rising sun, ushering in the dawn of a new Lunar Year, a new Millennium and a new generation dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the Vietnamese culture and heritage.