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Lunar New Year 2017
Happy New Year! In honor of Lunar New Year (commonly called Chinese New Year, though several countries share the holiday), below is a list of some local celebrations. The biggest Lunar New Year event in our area is the Chinese New Year Parade in downtown Washington DC’s Chinatown. But there are many other celebrations as well, both in DC and in Northern Virginia, which we include in our annual list of Lunar New Year events. These community activities present a wonderful way to share in the celebration, enjoy great food, and learn more about Asian culture and history. By the way, this year (4715 in the Chinese lunar calendar) is the “Year of the Rooster,” which begins on January 28, 2017. Even if you don’t celebrate Lunar New Year, this is a great time to introduce your kids to the holiday through stories and maybe even try your hand at Asian cooking. To celebrate in the community, just check out these upcoming events!
Sat., Jan. 14 – Asian Community Service Center (ACSC) Chinese New Year Festival, Falls Church, VA
The 10th annual Chinese New Year Festival at Luther Jackson Middle School in Falls Church is a huge annual all-day event hosted by ACSC. This indoor festival includes a dragon dance, lion dance, folk songs, Vietnamese Hat dance, Kung Fu demonstration, children’s fan dance and lantern dance, a meditation demonstration, and Thai, Indian, Tibetan, Korean dances, and more. There’s even a Lunar New Year parade at 2 pm! Admission is free! Luther Jackson M.S. is at 3020 Gallows Road in Falls Church. For details, see the website or call ACSC at 703-868-1509. Also see the Facebook page.
Sat., Jan. 28 – Smithsonian Chinese New Year Family Festival, Washington, DC
Smithsonian’s American Art Museum celebrate the 2017 Lunar New Year with a community celebration. All are invited to help “awaken the lion” and ring in the year of the rooster with music, fun craft activities, traditional performances, artists, and demonstrations. This free program, 11:30 am to 3 pm, is presented in partnership with the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the museum’s Kogod Courtyard.
Sat., Jan. 28 – Chinese New Year at Hidden Oaks, Annandale, VA
Celebrate the Chinese New Year starting at 2 pm with traditional games and stories at Hidden Oaks Nature Center: paint your Chinese zodiac animal, make a craft and participate in a lion dance. Registration is $8 per person and children must be accompanied by an adult registered in the program; spots are limited.
Sat.-Sun., Jan. 28-29 – Tet Grand Festival, Chantilly, VA
The Vietnamese Community in Northern Virginia joyfully celebrates Tet (Lunar New Year) each year with festivals. This two-day event features more than 30 famous national and local Vietnamese musical and comedy performers, Vietnamese cultural dances and exhibitions, food, raffles, kids’ activities, and more fun for guests of all ages at the Dulles Expo Center; the daylong festival goes from 10 am to 11 pm both days. Admission is free for children under 6 years old and $5 for all others.
Sat.-Sun., Jan. 28-29 – Eden Center Tet Flag Raising and Tet Celebration, Falls Church
Each year, Eden Center, Northern Virginia’s premier Asian center with approximately 120 stores, hosts the Tet Celebration (Vietnamese Lunar New Year) with family-friendly festivities. The annual event begins with the flag raising ceremony and entertainers at noon on Saturday, and lion dances starting at 11 am on Sunday. Eden Center is in the Seven Corners area at 6751 Wilson Blvd. in Falls Church.
Sat.-Sun., Jan. 28-29 – Okinawa Lunar New Year at the Textile Museum, Washington, DC
Celebrate the Lunar New Year island-style. Join the Textile Museum on the closing weekend of the exhibition Bingata! Only in Okinawa for an all-ages festival that celebrates the traditions of the Ryukyu Kingdom. Enjoy traditional dance and karate demonstrations; create your own bingata pattern; and go fishing in the islands’ tropical reefs. The all-day event is presented in partnership with Okinawa Kai of Washington, D.C., and the Okinawa Prefectural Government and admission is free.
Sat.-Sun., Jan. 28-29– Fair Oaks Mall Lunar New Year Celebration, Fairfax, VA
One of the largest events of its kind in the country, Fair Oaks Mall’s 14th annual Lunar New Year Festival is expected to once again attract close to 200,000 people over the two days of celebrations which typically include more than 300 performers from countries as China, Korea, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Mongolia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, and Tahiti and the 50h state of Hawaii. The Lunar New Year celebration features traditional Chinese dragon dances, music and dance performances, daring martial arts demonstrations, children’s crafts, multi-cultural displays and a special lantern festival. The free event is from 1 pm to 5 pm on both days.
Sun., Jan. 29– Chinese Lunar New Year Celebration, Tysons Corner, VA
Head to the lower level Lord & Taylor Court of Tysons Corner Center from 11am to 1 pm to enjoy cultural performances and participate in arts and crafts that celebrate the Year of the Rooster. Participants include the Jow Ga Shaolin Institute, which promotes the study of authentic Chinese martial arts for health, fitness, emotional well-being, and self-defense; and the Fairfax Chinese Dance Troupe is a nonprofit amateur group with dancers of all ages from the area. Admission is free.
Sun., Jan. 29 – Chinese New Year Parade, Washington, DC
The annual Chinese New Year Parade in DC is the largest event of its kind in our area. Featuring Chinese dragon and lion dances, multiple stage performances and other activities, this is a multi-faceted festival. The free event takes place 2 pm to 5 pm with the big parade kicking things off at 2 pm; the parade starts at 6th and I (“Eye”) streets and ends at 6th and H.
Sat., Feb. 4 – Family Day: Lunar New Year at the Kennedy Center, Washington, DC
Bring your entire family to a fun-filled day of activities and entertainment for all ages. Learn the arts of paper cutting, Beijing-style applique, calligraphy, sugar and bottle painting, “bristle dolls,” and Chinese makeup. Play dress up and take photos with Chinese outfits and enjoy performances by Beijing acrobats and Chinese musicians. Admission is free for the all-day (10:30 am to 4 pm) event.
Sat., Feb. 4 – Chinese New Year Celebration, Purcelville, VA
Franklin Park Arts Center in Purcelville (in neighboring western Loudoun County) celebrates the Year of the Rooster: guests of all ages are invited to wear the lucky colors gold, brown and yellow, enjoy arts and crafts, solve Lantern Tiger Riddles and enjoy refreshments and entertainment. This afternoon program is also a reception to celebrate the opening of the yearly Youth Art Show. Tickets are $10 per person or $35 per family.
Mon., Feb. 6 – Beijing Symphony Orchestra, Washington, DC
The Kennedy Center’s Lunar New Year Celebration for 2017, ringing in the Year of the Rooster, culminates with one of China’s most internationally acclaimed orchestras. The program features Chinese orchestral works plus a special orchestration of Mahler’s Song of the Earth to include traditional Chinese instruments. Tickets are $15-39 each.