In 2014, on the Western calendar, the start of the New Year falls on January 31st and is The Year of the Horse. During this important celebration in the Asian culture, it is traditional to wear red, meant to ward off evil spirits.
Following is a guide to the 2014 Chinese New Year events in Washington DC, Maryland and Northern Virginia.
In Washington, DC
- Chinese New Year Parade and Festival in Washington, DC
2014 Date to Be Announced, 2-4:30 p.m. Chinatown - on H Street, NW, between 6th and 8th Streets. Each year a parade is held in Chinatown to celebrate the Chinese New Year. The event features the traditional Chinese Dragon Dance, Kung Fu demonstrations and live musical entertainment. See photos of the Chinese New Year Parade.
Celebrate from 12-5 p.m. at the Chinatown Lunar New Year Festival, Chinatown Community Cultural Center, 616 H Street, NW Washington, DC. Programs and activities will include: live music and dance performances, traditional Chinese calligraphy, children’s crafts, face painting, tai chi and kung fu demonstrations, lion dancing, poetry readings, film screenings, art and photo exhibits, raffle prizes, New Year souvenirs, free giveaways, and much more. Special guest performances by: Wong People and students of Yu Ying Public Charter School.
- Chinese New Year Dining Specials in Washington DC
Throughout the month of February, many restaurants in the Washington DC area offer specials in celebration of the Chinese New Year. Celebrate the “Year of the Snake” with special tasting menus.
- Gaithersburg Chinese New Year Events
2014 Dates to Be Announced. Lakeforest Mall, 701 Russell Avenue, Gaithersburg, Maryland. View beautiful Chinese New Year decorations and exhibits throughout the mall. Live entertainment (weekends, noon-5:00 p.m.) includes traditional lion and dragon dances, folk dances and martial arts demonstrations. Demonstrations and workshops include flower/bonsai arrangement, arts and crafts, painting and games.
- Rockville Lunar New Year Parade and Street Festival
2014 Date to Be Announced, 10:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. (Parade Begins at 11 a.m.)Rockville Town Square, Rockville, Maryland. The event will include a parade through Rockville Town Square, an outdoor Asian street market and musical and dance performances. The celebration includes participants, sponsors and performers from the Chinese, Taiwanese, Vietnamese, Thai, Filipino, Korean and Japanese communities. VisArts sponsors the event and opens its studios to the public showcasing its gallery exhibits and offering arts and crafts for children.
Also, from 3-5 p.m. Montgomery County Executive Office Building, 101 Monroe St. Rockville, Maryland. The Mayor and Council of Rockville and the City's Asian Pacific American Task Force host a Lunar New Year Celebration featuring performances by local groups such as Xie cheng-qi, Child Beijin Opera, Fairfax Chinese Dance Troupe, Korean Drum Team of Spark Matsunaga Elementary School Tinikling Dancing- MHC Fil-Am Heritage Dance Ensemble and more.
- Chinese New Year at Montgomery County Public Libraries
Thirteen branches of the public libraries welcome the new year with a variety of programs. Music, dance and special performances feature the sights, sounds and cultures of China, Korea and Vietnam. Programs include introduction to customs behind the Lunar New Year, traditional dances, hands-on art activities, puppet shows, healing and martial arts demonstrations including tai-chi and kung fu, calligraphy, crafts, customs, Chinese yo-yo, workshops and children's activities, and the traditional Chinese lion dance. For specific schedules, visit the Montgomery County Public Libraries website
In Northern Virginia
- Chinese New Year Festival - Falls Church
February 1, 2014, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Luther Jackson Middle School, 3020 Gallows Road, Falls Church, VA. The event, hosted by the Asian Community Service Center, offers performances from China, Korea, India, Thailand, Vietnam, among others including the beautiful Chinese sword dance; Dragon Parade, fashion show, Asian plant art, Asian foods, Chinese cooking demo, teaching of Chinese characters, crafts, kids activities and more. FREE Admission.
- Fair Oaks Mall Lunar New Year Celebration
2014 Dates to Be Announced, 1-6 p.m. Fair Oaks Mall, 11750 Fair Oaks, Fairfax, VA. Ceremonies, performances and exhibitions will be presented from each day, with most of the events centered in the Fair Oaks Mall Grand Court. Presented by the Washington Hai Hua Community Center, the event will feature traditional Chinese dragon dances; music and dance performances; martial arts demonstrations; children’s crafts; and a special lantern festival. More than 200 performers will participate in this year’s Lunar New Year festival, representing such countries and regions as China, Korea, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Mongolia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Polynesia and the 50th state of Hawaii.
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