Lunar New Year 2020
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. This year (4718 in the Chinese lunar calendar) is the “Year of the Rat,” which begins on Jan. 25, 2020. 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!
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NOVA and DC LUNAR NEW YEAR EVENTS FOR 2020
Thur.-Sun., Jan. 22-Feb. 2 – REACH Winter Lantern, Washington, DC
The Reach, Kennedy Center’s expanded indoor/outdoor area which made its debut in 2019, hosts a special 10-day lantern exhibition. In recognition of the first winter season at the REACH and the Lunar New Year, the Kennedy Center presents a special display of winter lanterns on select nights from Jan. 22 to Feb. 2, 2020. There will be about 100 lanterns, plus performances and demonstrations, and admission is free. See details in our feature post of this event!
Sat., Jan. 25 – Asian Community Service Center (ACSC) Chinese New Year Festival, Falls Church, VA
The 11th 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 for kids under age 6, $2 for kids 6-12, and $5 for adults. Luther Jackson M.S. is at 3020 Gallows Road in Falls Church. For details, see the website or call ACSC at 703-868-1509. The snow/inclement weather date is Feb. 8.
Sat., Jan. 25 – Lunar New Year Family Day at the Kennedy Center, Washington, DC
The Kennedy Center hosts free activities highlighting Chinese culture for kids of all ages. All ages were welcome to this fun-filled day of activities and entertainment to celebrate the Year of the Rat. Activities run from 10 am to 4 pm and admission is free. The event takes place at The Reach at the Kennedy Center. Activities will include art and crafts, traditional costume photo booth, zodiac stickers, demonstrations of sugar painting and wood block printing, magic shows, and more. At night, from Jan. 22 to Feb. 2, 2020, don’t miss the free Chinese and Korean lantern show, also at The Reach.
Sat.-Sun., Jan. 25-26– Fair Oaks Mall Lunar New Year Celebration, Fairfax, VA
One of the largest events of its kind in the country, Fair Oaks Mall’s 17th 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 celebration is a free indoor event from 1 pm to 5 pm on both days.
Sat.-Sun., Jan. 25-26 – Eden Center 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 is free and runs from noon to 4 pm on both days. Eden Center is in the Seven Corners area at 6751 Wilson Blvd. in Falls Church.
Sun., Jan. 26– Chinese Lunar New Year Celebration, Tysons Corner, VA
Head to the fashion court near Nordstrom of Tysons Corner Center for cultural performances and arts and crafts that celebrate the Year of the Pig. From noon to 4 pm, enjoy Chinese tea samplings, cultural demonstrations and performances, arts and crafts, and more. Admission is free.
Sun., Jan. 26 – Chinese Celebration: Lunar New Year at Sackler Gallery, Washington, DC
Smithsonian’s Sackler and Freer galleries host the sixth annual Lunar New Year celebration to ring in the Year of the Rat. There will be food, demonstrations, magic shows, music and other performances, and art about celebrations in China, Korea, and Mongolia. Guests also can enjoy two special Sackler exhibitions, Resound: Ancient Bells of China and Sacred Dedication: A Korean Buddhist Masterpiece along with the permanent collection of Asian art in the Freer. The free event runs all day, from 11 am to 5 pm.
Sun., Jan. 26 – 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 4 pm, with an exciting firecracker finale, in the Chinatown section of DC at 6th and H streets.
Sat., Feb. 1 – Smithsonian Chinese New Year Family Festival, Washington, DC
Smithsonian’s American Art Museum celebrates the Year of the Rat with many free performances and activities from 11:30 am to 3 pm. These include Chinese ribbon dancing, acrobatic yo-yo performances, an interactive magic show, gallery demonstrations, a scavenger hunt, and crafts such as ink finger-printing, wood printing, and puppet-making.
Sat., Feb. 1 – Lunar New Year at Pentagon City, Arlington, VA
The Asian American Chamber of Commerce and the Fashion Center at Pentagon City host this annual free community event. From noon to 5 pm, enjoy cultural performances such as lion and dragon dances, two Hanfu fashion shows, music and more.
Sat.-Sun., Jan. 4-5 – Our Lady of LaVang Northern Virginia Tet Festival, Chantilly, VA
The Vietnamese Community in joyfully celebrates Tet (Lunar New Year) each year with festivals. This now two days 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 10 am to 10 pm both days. Admission is free for children under 2 years old and $10 for all others on Saturday and Sunday.