By Patricia Hall, FairfaxFamilyFun.com
Happy New Year! Not the one that just passed — but the one that is coming up! Each year in Northern Virginia and the metropolitan Washington, DC, area there are several festivals to celebrate the Lunar New Year. Commonly called Chinese New Year, several countries and cultures actually celebrate the holiday. The Vietnamese community, which hosts Tet events for the Vietnamese New Year, also celebrates in a big way.
Some of the biggest Lunar New Year events in our area are the Chinese New Year Parade in downtown Washington DC’s Chinatown, the all-day Asian Community Center festival in Falls Church, and the two-day Chinese New Year event at Fair Oaks Mall. You can find details on all these events and more on our annual guide to Lunar New Year community events. These celebrations are bright, festive displays of culture, history, food, and music.
The Year of the Rat
By the way, this year (4718 in the lunar calendar) is the “Year of the Rat” in the Chinese tradition. It begins on January 25, 2020, and ends on February 11, 2021. Because the rat is the first animal of the twelve in the Chinese zodiac, this new year symbolizes fresh beginnings and renewals.
Since “metal” is the element this time, the new year is also known as the year of the “metal rat. Learn more about the Chinese zodiac, and remember to see our list of local Lunar New Year events to find festivals, parades, concerts, craft events, and more!