Sarap Now
Sarap Now
A young child playing with confetti on the streets of Chinatown during a community celebration.

Every May, we love finding new and creative ways to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month. The flowers are bloomin’, the weather’s warmer, and the AAPI community goes ALL OUT for the culture.

While every month is AAPI month at Sarap Now, we recognize that this time of year gives well-deserved attention to the contributions of Asian Americans. The AAPI community represents 75 countries across East, Southeast, and South Asia, as well as the Pacific Islands of Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia.

It’s also a time for Asian Americans to reflect on our individual experiences, connect with our roots, and share our stories, far and wide.

The month-long recognition is especially important because of the lack of awareness around AAPI issues in America. A 2022 study found that 33% of Americans were unaware of the spike in anti-Asian American sentiment, despite the nearly 11,000 anti-Asian hate incidents reported over the pandemic.

So, for AAPI month and every month, we’re uplifting underrepresented AAPI voices – loud and proud.

Whether you’re observing at work or in your personal time, read on for the best ways to celebrate AAPI Heritage Month and AAPI-owned brands to support.

Two activists at a #StopAAPIHate rally holding up white signs with illustrations of AAPI women, the Statue of Liberty, a red flower symbol with a balanced scale at the center, and "No Hate" written on the bottom.

Why is AAPI Heritage Month in May?

AAPI month is in May because of two key dates in Asian American history: May 7, 1843, and May 10, 1869. 

May 7th marks the arrival of the first-known Japanese immigrants in the United States and May 10th is Golden Spike Day, or the day the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad. The latter acknowledges the more than 20,000 Chinese immigrants who built the railroad under grueling conditions and inequitable pay. 

At first, AAPI Heritage Month was only a week long. Congress passed a law in 1992 that extended the annual observance to a month.

 A bustling street in New York City's Chinatown.

How to Celebrate AAPI Heritage Month 

If you’re stumped on ways to celebrate AAPI Heritage Month at work or at home, here are seven fun and easy activity ideas:

1.  Eat and drink AAPI Cuisine

One of the easiest ways to learn about different AAPI cultures is by tasting its diverse cuisines. Enjoying a meal together is a universal experience – anyone can connect with it. New flavors also inspire people to be curious.

Love cooking? Try a recipe from an AAPI-made cookbook (we recommend Mayumu), or attend a cooking class by an Asian American chef. 

Want to sit back and enjoy? Eat at a new Asian-owned restaurant or get a variety of our best-selling Asian snacks delivered to your door.

If you’re the host with the most, hold a potluck with different Asian foods or organize a group DIY food experience using at-home Sushi or Boba Tea Kits.

A young Asian family sitting at the dinner table sharing a meal.

2.  Read and Watch AAPI Media

The Asian American diaspora has produced some of the best movies, TV, and books that center on nuanced Asian American experiences.

Sit down with a bag of Shrimp Snacks and enjoy these movies: 

  • Everything Everywhere All At Once
  • The Farewell
  • Minari

Only have time for a quick and easy TV watch? Check out:

  • Kim’s Convenience
  • Nora from Queens
  • Never Have I Ever

If you prefer to relax with a good book or want to organize an AAPI month book club, try reading: 

  • Brown Girls by Daphne Palasia
  • Beautiful Country by Qian Julie Wang
  • Central Places by Delia Cai
  • On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong
  • Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner

3.  Dig into AAPI History

They say, “Know history. Know self.” Unfortunately, the majority of AAPI history isn’t taught in schools, so it’s important to seek out information to reclaim your heritage.

Luckily, there’s a wealth of resources out there, from documentaries to informative social media accounts (like or @representasianproject). You can also visit key Asian American landmarks (like this hidden Jeepney tour of Historic Filipinotown in Los Angeles) and museums (such as the Museum of Chinese in America in New York City). 

There are also several trailblazers to honor for paving the way for the AAPI community, from Larry Itliong, the Filipino labor organizer who fought for farmers’ rights, to Yuri Kochiyama, the Japanese political activist devoted to social justice.

4.  Go to asian community events or host your own activities

Check your local event listings for celebrations of AAPI culture. 

If you’ll be in San Francisco on May 5-7, come meet the Sarap Now team IRL at Merkado Kultura, a curated market celebrating the Philippines at the Philippine Consulate.

You can also rally your community to start a brand new event featuring Asian American guest speakers, vendors, or artists. Bring a mahjong table and learn how to play. It’s a great way to bring together your town, neighborhood, or even your work office.

5.  Have real conversations with your family and friends.

Whether you identify as AAPI, an immigrant of Asian heritage, or an ally, one of the most accessible ways to better understand the Asian American experience is by asking questions and listening.

Ask your elders or AAPI-identifying friends about their cultural traditions and upbringing. As this is a personal topic, it’s important to approach these conversations from a place of vulnerability, respect, and thoughtfulness.

Genuine conversations can open the door for a deeper connection to your loved ones and a stronger understanding of your own heritage.

6.  Support non-profits benefitting the Asian community

Volunteer with or donate to non-profit organizations that are mobilizing AAPI communities for social change.

New York-based Heart of Dinner offers several ways to get involved in their mission to combat food insecurity and isolation among Asian American elders. You can help deliver meals to elderly Asians across the city or craft uplifting notes to go with hot lunches and fresh produce.

7.  Shop Asian-owned small businesses

Unlike buying from big companies, supporting small AAPI-owned businesses will have a direct impact on Asian families, helping them to keep food on the table and a roof over their heads.

Plus, these emerging Asian-owned small businesses provide premium quality goods you can’t find anywhere else. 

Read on for AAPI-owned brands to support this AAPI month.

Food + Beverage

  • Asha Pops - Founded by South Asian mother-son duo Asha and Jai, AshaPops is a healthy snack that combines modern flavors with superfoods from the ancient Indian dietary code, Ayurveda.
  • Chinese Laundry Kitchen - This AAPI, first-generation-immigrant, and woman-owned brand offers a ready-to-use Dan Dan Noodles sauce made with 100% real ingredients, like umami-forward Sichuan spice and nutty sesame.
  • Kokak Chocolates - Specializing in single-origin, small-batch heirloom chocolates, Kokak Chocolates is inspired by Founder and Head Chocolatier Carol Gancia's deep Asian roots and passion for creating adventurous flavors with the rare "Naicónal" cacao variety. 
    • Kits by Food Craft - A Filipina-owned business that offers do-it-yourself kits, like Sushi-Making Kits or Bubble Tea Kits. Their mission is to create joy & connection through shared experiences.
    • Kusi - A Filipino-owned brand offering small-batch seasonings with flavors rooted in the Philippines. Use their all-natural sinigang mix to make a fire Ukoy (Filipino shrimp fritters).
    • Mama Teav’s - Mama Teav came to America in 1979 as a Cambodian refugee with little to nothing. Food was her way of showing love, and she often made dishes from scratch—from pickled vegetables to her famous Hot Garlic. 
    • Twrl Milk Tea - Founded by two Asian American moms and friends of 20 years, Twrl Milk Tea offers a healthier version of boba tea to enjoy, guilt-free.

    HOME + ART

    • Coco Dealers - The AAPI-woman-owned and operated shop is dedicated to gorgeous coconut products and supplies beautiful sustainably sourced, handmade coconut wood dishes.
    • Decue Wu Illustration - Award-winning illustrator and Chinese woman founder Decue Wu illustrates colorful designs for everything from greeting cards to prints and handmade clay earrings.
    • Dokino Art - This Mongolian illustrator and designer creates beautiful, high-quality products inspired by her favorite things. 
    • Reppin Pins - A Filipino-owned custom pin maker making pins that help you #repwhatyoulove.
    • Studio Bubby - An AAPI-owned design studio that cultivates creative projects driven by play. They offer prints that inject fun into the daily and channel their inner child.


    •  Supersoie - Supersoie is an AAPI-owned premium silk house based in Los Angeles, specializing in silk pillowcases, scrunchies, eye masks, and more.
    • Clean Circle - Clean Circle aims to address the environmental impact on our skin and tackle beauty waste, all while paying homage to the AAPI founder's heritage with product ingredients.


    • Cali & Dana - This minority women-owned brand is focused on designing life's essentials for the modern-day woman.
    • Already Mine - An AAPI-owned, luxury designer, 100% vegan fashion brand ​dedicated to elevating your vibe with beautifully designed, giftable boxed wallets, card holders, and crystals. 

    Follow Sarap Now for more AAPI Heritage Month ideas

    No matter where you are or who you’re celebrating with, there are many ways to make the most of AAPI Heritage Month. 

    This month and every month, we uplift underrepresented AAPI voices. Our one-stop-shop makes it easy for you to find hundreds of goodies made by emerging Asian makers.

    Follow @SarapNow on Instagram for more AAPI Heritage Month celebration ideas and a BIG AAPI-made giveaway coming soon.


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