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, such as the Vietnamese, who host Tet events for the Vietnamese New Year.
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’s 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.
By the way, this year (4713 in the lunar calendar) is the “Year of the Monkey” in the Chinese tradition, and begins on February 8, 2016, and ends January 27, 2017. The monkey, which has the ninth out of twelve positions on the Chinese zodiac, is known for its curiosity, mischief, and jokes. More precisely, 2016 (or rather, 4713), is a year for the Fire Monkey, the active and aggressive of the Monkeys, a friendly and energetic creature whose impulses need “to be channeled correctly.” Sounds like something we parents have some experience with! Remember to see our list of local Lunar New Year events to find festivals, parades, concerts, craft events, and more!