This Saturday, Jan. 28 marks the beginning of Chinese New Year, a celebration which is tied to the lunar-solar calendar. Traditionally the holiday was meant to honor deities and departed family members. But in Tacoma, the Chinese New Year also marks the arrival of Monkeyshines.
Since 2003, the anonymous “Ms. Monkey” and her helpers hide numerous glass balls and medallions throughout Tacoma under the guise of night in celebration of the occasion. Each item is emblazoned with the animal of the year, like 2017’s Year of the Rooster, and can be hidden under rocks, high up in a trees, in water, or right out in plain sight.
According to social media buzz, Ms. Monkey has friends and supporters who also hide trinkets. One such supporter is known as the Marbleman who distributes glass marbles during Monkeyshines times. Some posters have suggested the popular Tacoma Rocks have gotten in on the action by painting Year of the Rooster rocks.
This year, the Port of Tacoma has decided to get in on the monkey business by posting clues to Monkeyshines locations on their social media feeds.
If you decide to go on a monkey hunt this weekend, just remember the one rule of Monkeyshines, only take one. The activity is meant to be a fun treasure hunt, not a collect-them-all race to the finish.