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Lunar New Year 2018
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, pet lovers rejoice: this year (4716 in the Chinese lunar calendar) is the “Year of the Dog,” which begins on Friday, February 16, 2018. 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!
LUNAR NEW YEAR EVENTS FOR 2018
Fri..-Sun., Feb. 2-4 – Tet Grand Festival, Chantilly, VA
The Vietnamese Community in Northern Virginia joyfully celebrates Tet (Lunar New Year) each year with festivals. This now three-day event features more than 30 famous national and local Vietnamese musical and comedy performers, and Vietnamese cultural dances and exhibitions and food. In addition, the event has raffles, kids’ activities, and more fun for guests of all ages at the Dulles Expo Center; the daylong festival goes from 7 pm to midnight on Friday and 10 am to 11 pm on Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free for children under 6 years old and $10 for all others on Saturday and Sunday or $20 on Friday night.
Sat., Feb. 10 – 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.
Sat., Feb. 10 – Smithsonian Chinese New Year Family Festival, Washington, DC
Smithsonian’s American Art Museum celebrates the Year of the Dog with traditional paper cutting, an art scavenger hunt, red paper lantern making, and panda crafts. Performances by special guest artists from Chengdu, China, will include traditional music, Sichuan Opera, and acrobatics. The free program, 11:30 am to 3 pm, is presented in partnership with the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China.
Thurs., Feb. 15 – Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra, Washington, DC
As part of its Lunar New Year celebration, The Kennedy Center hosts world-renowned artist Tan Dun conducts one of China’s most outstanding orchestras in a program of Stravinsky classics combined with works by Guan Xia and Tan Dun himself. The concert is at 8 pm; tickets are $19-$39.
Sat., Feb. 17 – 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. You can 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., Feb. 17 – Chinese Lunar New Year Celebration, Tysons Corner, VA
Head to the fashion court near Nordstrom of Tysons Corner Center 11 am-1 pm for cultural performances and arts and crafts that celebrate the Year of the Dog. Enjoy Chinese tea samplings, cultural demonstrations and performances, arts and crafts, and a paper-cutting workshop. Admission is free.
Sat., Feb. 17 – Chinese New Year Family Day: “Panda Chengdu”, Washington, DC
This annual family festival is a fun-filled day of activities and entertainment for all ages. This year it has a special focus on the arts and culture of China’s Chengdu Plain, home to most of the world’s giant pandas. Guests can watch footage of Bao Bao (who recently moved to Chengdu from the National Zoo) and write a letter to her. Other fun options: try on traditional Chinese outfits; partake in arts and crafts; watch folk dancing, acrobatics, and shadow puppetry; enjoy an instrument petting zoo; and more. Admission is free for the all-day (9 am to 3 pm) event.
Sat.-Sun., Feb. 17-18– 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 two days. The celebrations typically include more than 200 performers from more than 15 countries. 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.
Sat.-Sun., Feb. 17-18 – 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.
Sun., Feb. 18 – 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. 24 – Okinawa Lunar New Year at the Textile Museum, Washington, DC
Celebrate the year of the dog with unique traditions from China’s Guizhou Province. Guests can try paper-cutting workshops, music and dance, and tours of the new exhibition Vanishing Traditions: Textiles and Treasures from Southwest China and visit the hands-on learning center, Textiles 101.