Best Ways To Celebrate Lunar New Year In The Washington DC Area

February 8, 2013 8:00 AM

(credit: Thinkstock)

(credit: Thinkstock)

(credit: Thinkstock)

While the world celebrated the New Year on Jan. 1, many Asian cultures celebrate the Lunar New year later. This year the Lunar New Year is on February 10, and thousands in the DMV will be celebrating. Celebrate, explore, and learn about the Lunar New Year by attending these events.

Chinese New Year Parade
H St. NW Between 6th St. and 7th St.
Washington, DC 20001

Hours: Feb. 10 – 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

This year, lunar year 4711, will continue the wonderful tradition of the DC Chinese New Year Parade. The Benevolent Association, an umbrella group that represents 30 Chinese-American organizations in the DC area, will host the event. With organizers expecting over 40,000 attendees (and a national television audience), it’s safe to say this is one of the biggest Lunar New Year events in the country. Spectators can look forward to a moving festival complete with dragons, bands, Chinese lantern girls, Shaolin monks, The Wong People Chinese Lion Dancers and various floats, including a Washington Wizards float.

2013 Lunar New Year Celebration
Jing Ying Institute of Kung Fu & Tai Chi
1195 Baltimore Annapolis Blvd. #6
Arnold, MD 21012
(410) 431-5200

Feb. 23 – 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Studying the Chinese martial arts of kung fu and tai chi can teach you discipline, patience and determination. The Jing Ying Institute, in celebration of the Lunar New Year, offers free and low-cost workshops in the martial arts, as well as qiqong and Chinese calligraphy. On top of that, the institute will have an open house with children’s crafts, demonstrations, giveaways, live music, food and more. They will also offer workshops on the traditions of the Lunar New Year, so you can get a good grasp on what and why the Lunar New Year is celebrated. Don’t miss your opportunity to immerse yourself in a beautiful tradition.

Related: Best Language Classes In The DC Area

Third Annual Lunar New Year Celebration
Rockville Town Square
155 Gibbs Street
Rockville, MD 20850

Hours: Feb. 16 – 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Montgomery county has a large Asian community, and VisArts is proud to bring together many of the varying parts of that community together. This event includes Japanese, Taiwanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Thai and Chinese communities and welcomes everyone be a part of the celebration, as a performer, sponsor, volunteer or spectator. With so many different cultures involved, it makes for a lively celebration. Come for the parade, and stay for the dancers, music, food and special guests. Explore these rich cultures as they come together to celebrate a common connection.

Chinatown Community Cultural Center
616 H St. NW #201
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 628-1688

Although it only comprises a few blocks, Chinatown has a big presence. The Chinatown Community Cultural Center is dedicated to preserving and promoting Chinese culture in DC, specifically in Chinatown. While the center provide important services for Asian residents, it also serves a great place for non-Asians to learn about and enjoy Chinese culture. With the Lunar New Year approaching, it is a good opportunity for you to explore Chinatown by taking a walking tour lead by a local historian or learning about Chinese culture through one of the center’s other programs.

Related: Best Bilingual Extracurricular Activities For Kids In The DC Area

Eden Center Tet Celebration
Eden Center
6751 Wilson Blvd
Falls Church, VA 22044

Hours: Feb. 10 – 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Like many Asian cultures, the Vietnamese see the Lunar New Year, or “Tet,” as they call it, as the most important holiday of the year.  The Eden Center Tet always presents a wonderful day of events for the Vietnamese community in Virginia and anyone who wants to join the festivities. Thousands of people celebrate the new year at the center with food, children’s activities, fireworks, live entertainment, lion dances and more. You and your family will enjoy learning about the Lunar New Year and Asian cultures while having fun together.

Folashade Oyegbola is a freelance writer covering all things D.C. Her work can be found on

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