Best DC Chinese New Year Celebrations

From dumplings to dragon dances to concerts, the Year of the Rooster has plenty to offer

Whether you're in it for the dragons and the dumplings or are just looking for some good fun, D.C. is full of Chinese New Year celebrations.

Some local events have already passed, but you can still ring in the Year of the Rooster at one of these events:

Night Market for Chinese New Year (575 Pennsylvania Ave. NW): On Thursday, the Source will be hosting the D.C. Food and Beverage Collective's all-you-can-eat Chinese barbecue-themed dinner. Chef Scott Drewno as well as guest chefs Andrew Evans and teams from Texas Jack's Barbecue and The Tavern at Ivy City Smokehouse will have live-action stations followed by a three-course prix fixe menu. Lion dancers will provide entertainment. The night market starts at 6:30 p.m. The event is $140 for non-DCFBC members and $130 for members.

MGM National Harbor Lunar New Year Display (101 MGM National Ave., National Harbor, Maryland): The new casino and resort will feature a Lunar New Year floral display at the Conservatory open through March, featuring 200,000 flowers. The giant display contains a 30-foot tall rooster made of reflective glass and flowers, a 7-foot fountain, a moon gate, a citrus, tangerine and money tree, a footbridge, a 6-foot tall koi fish and a 24-foot-tall pagoda housing a Chinese empress dressed in 14,500 flowers. The Conservatory is free and open to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Also in honor of the Year of the Rooster, MGM National Harbor's restaurant Ginger will have a specialty menu featuring authentic Chinese dishes such as a New Year red bean cake, golden crab, braised abalone, crispy fried spring hen and sweet rice cakes. The menu will be available through the Lunar New Year holiday.

On Thursday, the MGM will also host a performance by Chinese pop rock group Band of Brothers. The group, made up of Edmund Leung, Richie Jen, William So and Steve Wong, have each had careers spanning over two decades and have released more than 80 albums combined. Doors open at 7 p.m., concert starts at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $61 to $153.

On Friday, the resort will host the Imperial Lion Dance Team featuring the lion dance on traditional high poles, a long-standing tradition celebrated in Chinese culture. A processional through the casino and the District will follow, ending at Potomac Plaza, where the traditional lettuce and money feeding, which promotes luck and wealth, will take place.

Kennedy Center Family Day: Lunar New Year Celebration (2700 F St. NW): The Kennedy Center will celebrate Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the Roof Terrace with a free event featuring activities and entertainment. You can catch performances by Beijing acrobats and Chinese musicians, and learn Beijing-style applique, calligraphy, sugar and bottle painting, paper cutting, "bristle dolls," Chinese makeup and a Chinese costume dress-up trunk.

On Feb. 6, the Kennedy Center will host the Beijing Symphony Orchestra at 8 p.m. The concert will feature special orchestration of Gustav Mahler's "Song of the Earth" with traditional Chinese instruments, as well as other works that were inspired by Chinese culture.

Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Chinese New Year Celebration (1050 Independence Ave. SW): Chinese acrobats and students from the Beijing Opera Art's college will perform to ring in the Year of the Rooster on Sunday. Other activities will include sugar painting, mask making, a photo booth and paper cutting and calligraphy demonstrations. Chinese food will be available for purchase. The event is free and will run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Gaithersburg Chinese New Year Events (701 Russell Ave., Gaithersburg, Maryland): The Lakeforest Mall is decked out in decorations and exhibits in honor of the New Year now through Sunday. Live entertainment will be showcased weekends from noon to 5 p.m., including traditional lion and dragon dances, folk dances, martial arts demonstrations, flower/bonsai arrangement workshops, arts and crafts and painting and games.

Mandarin Oriental Hotel (1330 Maryland Ave. SW): The hotel will host a variety of events in honor of the Chinese New Year. Now though Feb. 26, a special Chinese New Year afternoon tea will feature sweet and savory treats and freshly brewed loose leaf teas, as well as specialty Fire Rooster cocktails.

On Thursday, there will be a Chinese lion dance in the main lobby of the hotel accompanied by free Chinese tea and dim sum served during the performances.

Additionally, traditional dim sum will be served daily at the Muze and Empress Lounge from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Each basket is $12 to $14 per person.

Lastly, from this Saturday through Feb. 28, every registered hotel guest born in 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993 and 2005 will get a free dinner at Muze in honor of the year of the Rooster. 

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