Also known as the Spring Festival in China, Lunar New Year is a 15-day celebration marked by many traditions and celebrated in a variety of countries and cultures, including Korea, Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia and Mongolia. The DMV has many celebrations observing the Lunar New Year, all of which are said to bring good luck and fortune. People born in the Year of the Dragon are said to be charismatic, intelligent, confident and powerful as well as naturally lucky and gifted. The Year of the Dragon is considered by Chinese people to be the luckiest zodiac sign to be born under! Below are some events in the DMV that you can attend and enjoy as a family.
- Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company Sunday, February 4th, 4 p.m. at the Alden Theatre in McLean. The company’s legacy blends contemporary American and traditional Chinese dance styles, creating a unique and captivating experience that reflects the inspiring hope and energy of an immigrant’s journey.
- Chinese New Year Festival Saturday, February 17th, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. at Luther Jackson Middle School in Falls Church. Usually it is a one day indoor event with cultural performances including dragon and lion dances, delicious Asian foods, New Year Parade, a cultural exhibition, craft show, language, health and business booths, children’s activities and more. Asian costume or your traditional costume are encouraged. The mission of the event is: Return to Tradition.
- Tet Grand Festival January 20th-21st, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly. The Tết Grand Festival, the largest Lunar New Year celebration and Asian cultural event in the DMV, is back and they have tripled the size! This two-day indoor grand festival features a 100,000 sq. ft. exhibition area with Vietnamese cultural exhibits, dances and other performances, arts and crafts, food and drink, gifts and souvenirs and a car raffle.
- Lunar New Year Family Celebration Saturday, February 10th, 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Celebrate the Year of the Dragon with SAAM! Join for the annual celebration showcasing the ways different Asian cultures ring in the Lunar New Year. Attendees will enjoy dance and music performances, crafts, traditional Chinese and Korean art demonstrations, photo booths, face painting (for children 12 and under, while supplies last), family-friendly activities and the showstopping lion dance. The Courtyard Café will also offer special holiday treats to celebrate the occasion.
- DC Chinese Lunar New Year Parade Sunday, February 11th, 2 p.m. at Gallery Place/Chinatown. The streets of D.C. Chinatown will fill with revelers and spectators to celebrate the Year of the Dragon. A dynamic community-based parade will be hosted that will include a range of cultural and community performers. The finale will feature a firecracker show in the middle of H Street. Come early for a bite to eat at one of the many local eateries and restaurants and then grab your curbside vantage point to witness the colorful pageantry to come!
- Lunar New Year Festival February 17th, 10 a.m.–2 p.m. at DAR Museum. This free, family-friendly celebration of Lunar New Year tradition will feature games, activities and performances. Presented in conjunction with the Vietnam Society, Taiwan Economic and Cultural Representative Office and the Fairfax High School Korean Club. The event is free, but preregistration is requested. The event will be ongoing throughout the day and is a drop-in-anytime experience.
- Lunar New Year Family Festival Saturday, February 10th, 11 a.m.–4 p.m. celebrate the Year of the Dragon at the National Postal Museum! The event will offer fun for all ages with activity stations, crafts, book readings and lion dance performances. Presented in collaboration with the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center.
- Lunar New Year Celebration Saturday, February 10th, 2024, 12:30-4:30 p.m., Bethesda. Join Westfield Montgomery in partnership with the Chinese Culture and Community Service Center (CCACC) for a spectacular Lunar New Year Celebration. Get ready for an unforgettable day filled with cultural richness and entertainment to celebrate the Year of the Dragon kicking off with the annual parade through the center with traditional drums! Dragon lion dance, live performances and traditional dances. Family friendly craft activities like fan making and paper-folding. Bring your RSVP and check in to receive a traditional red envelope with special surprises inside, symbolizing good fortune and prosperity. Available while supplies last, 1 per family.
- Lunar New Year Dragon Celebration Saturday, February 10th, 11 a.m.-12 p.m., Gaithersburg Library. Join members of Li-Ming Academy for a celebration of the Year of the Dragon. Discover the traditions of Chinese families as they joyfully welcome the Lunar New Year, exploring the significance of various customs. Delve into the intriguing world of Chinese zodiac signs and learn how they shape individual characteristics based on birth years.The festivities extend beyond informative sessions, featuring a shadow puppet show, a fusion of artistry and storytelling. Live demonstrations showcasing the traditional Chinese martial art of tai chi. Be captivated by the artistry of yo-yo performances, displaying the skillful manipulation of this classic toy; seize the opportunity to try your hand at yo-yo tricks during hands-on practice sessions! Conclude the celebration with a Chinese calligraphy demonstration, where you can witness the creation of personalized Chinese names for yourselves and receive New Year fortune wishes.
- Lunar New Year Special Storytime & Craft Saturday, February 10th, 11-11:45 a.m. Bethesda. Celebrate the start of the Year of the Dragon at the Connie Morella Library with a New Year-themed story time and craft explaining some of the customs and traditions associated with the chasing away of evil spirits and welcoming in a new year filled with happiness, prosperity and luck. There will be stories for children of all ages and a chance for you to make a New Year dragon of your own!
- Lion Dance at the Germantown Library Sunday, February 11th, 11-11:30 a.m. Germantown Library. Celebrate the Chinese New Year with a Lion Dance at the library! The East Rising Lion Dance Troupe will lead a lion dance through the rotunda of the library, ending in the meeting room, where they will introduce the different parts of the lion and show how the tail and arms work.
- Lunar New Year Saturday, February 17th, 2024, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Rockville High School. The City of Rockville celebrates Lunar New Year by offering a free event that celebrates Rockville’s Asian cultures with performances, interactive displays, kids’ crafts and to-go snack boxes (while supplies last). Organized in partnership with Rockville’s Asian Pacific American Task Force, the Lunar New Year celebration is a source of pride for the city’s Asian community and an educational opportunity for neighbors to learn about Asian culture.