This post was most recently updated on May 13th, 2019

The United States has long been a beacon of hope for immigrants from around the world. One of the most proudest groups to have arrived on American soil and to have contributed in a significant way to the country’s past, present, and future is the diverse Asian American and Pacific Islander community.

As this energetic group is spread out across the US, it’s not hard to find festivities and other events where you can learn more about how they have spiced up the melting pot that is modern America. More than just functioning as educational exhibits, these celebrations are also a time to dive head first into the vibrant colors, cultural practices, and culinary delights of the various communities that fall under the Asian Pacific American umbrella. So feel free to find some cheap flight deals and attend one of these amazing extravaganzas!

Fiesta Asia – Washington D.C.

 

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The nation’s capital plays host to one of the most vibrant events in the eastern US. Fiesta Asia is a month-long celebration (during the month of May with events running into June) that showcases art, music, dance, and other performance arts in various smaller events, such as the Fiesta Asia Silver Spring and the Fiesta Asia Street Fair. The events are spread across the D.C. metropolitan area and are open to all who want to participate, volunteer, or donate for one or many of its programs.

Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month Celebration – Seattle

group of five asian women actresses in traditional chinese costumes with fans outdoor

The intermittent wet weather of Seattle can’t put a damper on this event that has been running since 2002. Hosted by the city’s Asian Pacific Directors Coalition, this celebration takes place in May and includes a number of dance troupes and musical performances from the Asian community (including those from the Chinese, Filipino, and Japanese American communities, to name just a few) as well as the Pacific Islands (including those of Tongan, Samoan, and Hawaiian heritage, also to name just a few) that will keep you enthralled. You can dig into some mouthwatering foods from all the represented communities through a number of food trucks that will be present. One of the highlights of the event has to be the hum bow eating contest, where prominent community members and local celebrities take part in a fierce battle to see who can devour their baked pork buns the fastest!

Looking to plan your next adventure? Check out these cheap flight deals that can help you save!

Lantern Festival – Philadelphia

Chinese lantern festival, philadelphia

Legend has it that, during the the time of the Han dynasty in ancient China, a beautiful crane came down from heaven to earth. Sadly, curious villagers killed the creature. The Jade Emperor of heaven, who loved the crane as his pet, swore to punish the villagers by bringing down fire on the 15th day of the first Lunar month. A wise man suggested that the villagers light red lanterns and set off fireworks to give the illusion that the village was already on fire, and to make sure the Jade Emperor’s wrath was satisfied. Thus, an iconic Chinese practice was born, with lanterns being lit to mark this day. The modern versions of the simple red lantern have advanced to include huge structures illuminated by thousands of LEDs, some of which are even mechanized. In early May each year, Philadelphia’s historic Franklin Square comes alive with hundreds of such beautiful hand-built lanterns, depicting various symbols and legends of Chinese culture and mythology. They’re sure to draw “oohs” and “aahs” from both kids and adults alike!

Cleveland Asian Festival – Cleveland, Ohio

 

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Now in its 10th year of felicitating the various communities of the city’s AsiaTown neighborhood, Cleveland Asian Festival is a free event that features more than a 100 vendors, more than 25 local restaurants and food trucks offering up choice treats derived from Asian culture, and performers that range from Polynesian dance troupes to a Shaolin martial arts group from China. Visitors to the extravaganza can also enjoy free health screenings, games and activities, free trolley tours of AsiaTown, a fashion show featuring the national costumes of various Asian and Polynesian nations, as well as an Asian Pop dance competition!

Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Festival – New York

Stock image of polynesia culture, dance, festival and arts

Held annually in May in the city with one of the largest Asian populations in the US, the Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Festival is just another reason why you should be looking to find cheap flight deals to the Big Apple. For those who want their dose of culture with entertainment, there are hundreds of artists, musicians, actors, and dancers who a ready to put on a creative show of their heritage. There’s no slouching in the food department either; in typical New York style, you’ll be guaranteed plenty of spices, flavor, and colorful presentation that will make even the snobbiest of food critics gush with awe. Regardless of what interests you may have, you and the whole family are sure to have a great time at this one-of-a-kind spectacle.

What’s your favorite Asian festival or Pacific Islander event? Share them with us in the comments

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About The Author

Dhinesh Manuel

Socialite, philanthropist, costumed crime fighter by night...no wait...that's Batman...my bad ... Musician, writer, travel junkie, dog lover, and database of useless information. I love to learn about new cultures, experience new cuisines, meet new people, and have a few laughs along the way!