Ready to ring in the year of the monkey? Celebrate Chinese New Year at these special events around the D.C. area.
1. Chinese New Year Parade in Chinatown: Feb. 14
D.C.'s Chinese New Year parade marches through Chinatown on Feb. 14 starting at 2 p.m. Head downtown for your chance to see lion dancers, dragons, marching bands, Chinese folk dancers and more amid the crackle of fireworks.
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2. Chinese New Year at the Kennedy Center: Feb. 5- 8
The Kennedy Center will host several free events, kicking off the first weekend in February with a free pop music show Friday featuring artists from a major southern Chinese city, Shenzhen. On Saturday, Family Day will offer all-day activities including calligraphy lessons and red lantern-making. The Shenzhen Lily Girls' Choir performs Sunday night. The last free event is set for Monday, with performances in Beijing Opera and acrobatics from the Henan Arts Troupe. Go here for more info on events.
3. Lunar New Year Ceremony and Festival at Maryland Live!: Feb. 5
Maryland Live! Casino (7002 Arundel Mills Circle, Hanover) will host a day of special events Feb. 5 to welcome the Year of the Monkey. A Cai Qing ceremony at 11:30 a.m. will feature the "plucking of the greens" by a "lion" to bless the New Year and bring prosperity, planners said. A Lunar New Year festival will follow from noon to 4 p.m., with lion dances, the chace to visit the money god for good luck, and more.
4. Chinese New Year Festival in Falls Church: Feb. 6
The 9th annual festival will be held at Luther Jackson Middle School (3020 Gallows Road, Falls Church) with free admission and a full day of activities spanning across different Asian cultures. Along with traditional Chinese dragon and lion dances, the festival will include Korean, Thai and Indian dances. See the full program of events online here. The fest will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
5. Family Art Activities at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery: Feb. 6, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Spend a day in a Smithsonian museum with your little ones, making masks and learning about ribbon dancing. A local dance troupe from the Madison Chinese Dance Academy will perform. Find more info here.
6. Wolfgang Puck's The Source: Feb. 8 to Feb. 20
For something a bit more luxe, savor a seven-course Chinese New Year menu at The Source (575 Pennsylvania Ave NW), available Feb. 8-20. At $110 per person, it's definitely a "treat yourself" meal. A night market with lion dancers and traditional market stalls will be open Feb. 11 for a cool $85 per person. See the full list of events online here.
7. Chinese Lion Dance at the Mandarin Oriental: Feb. 11 in the main lobby
The Mandarin Oriental (1330 Maryland Ave SW) will offer a range of events and special packages this month. A lion dance Feb. 11 starts at 5 p.m. and will include refreshments and appetizers. Their Empress Lounge will offer afternoon tea and cocktails with a Chinese New Year menu Fridays through Sundays throughout February. For fine dining choices, order from a limited Chinese New Year menu at their restaurant, Muze.