By Michelle Phipps-Evans
Lunar New Year is the most important festival of the year in many Asian countries. The D.C. metro area will celebrate the occasion with parades, dragon dances, live musical performances, and more. This year the Lunar New Year is a 15-day event that starts with the New Moon on the first day of the new year, which falls on Jan. 31, and ends on the full moon 15 days later.
Here is Asian Fortune’s dandy guide to the 2014 Chinese New Year events in Washington D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia.
The Wonders of Chinese Dance in Gaithersburg, Md.
The Chinese Culture and Community Service Center (CCACC) co-sponsors a Chinese New Year celebration for several days between Jan. 27 and Feb. 9, 2014 at the Lakeforest Mall at 701 Russell Ave., Gaithersburg, Md. This year’s theme is “The Wonders of Chinese Dance.” This will be the 17th year that CCACC partnered with the Lakeforest Mall to co-sponsor this event, and in general, the activities will be similar to the past few years. With the theme in Chinese dance, the CCACC plans to arrange for more dance performances and possibly some demonstrations on simple Chinese dance routines.
Performances will be on four weekend days (February 1, 2, 8, and 9) from noon until 5 p.m., at the center court. The opening ceremony will be on Feb. 1, at noon, with lion dances and dragon dances; and the closing ceremony will be Feb. 9 and will feature lion dances, which will also happen each day during the celebration. For more information, visit http://www.ccacc-dc.org/index_e.asp
The 7th Annual Chinese New Year Festival at Falls Church, Va
The Asian Community Service Center hosts the 7th annual Chinese New Year celebration on Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., at the Luther Jackson Middle School, 3020 Gallows Road, Falls Church, Va. This free event will feature each Asian country with something special to share. Performances from Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, India and China, among others, will entertain while offering the audience a better understanding of the various cultures. There will be a full day of music, dance and martial arts, Asian cuisine, cooking classes, calligraphy, Chinese medicine and kids’ games and crafts.
The Dragon Parade is the most popular activity. Children don Asian attire and march with a nine-person dragon throughout the school. For additional information, visit the website, www.chinesenewyearfestival.org or call (703) 868-1509.
The Washington, D.C. Chinese New Year Parade
Each year, a parade is held in Chinatown in Washington, D.C., to celebrate the Chinese New Year. The event features the traditional Chinese Dragon Dance, Kung Fu demonstrations and live musical entertainment. The event is usually held in Chinatown on H Street, NW, between 6th and 8th streets. The 2014 date hasn’t been announced yet.
Once the date has been determined, visitors can celebrate from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Chinatown Community Cultural Center, 616 H St., NW, with programs and activities featuring live music and dance performances, traditional Chinese calligraphy, children’s crafts, and more.
Fair Oaks Mall Lunar New Year Celebration
The 2014 dates are to be announced for the Lunar New Year Celebration from 1-6 p.m. at the Fair Oaks Mall, 11750 Fair Oaks, Fairfax, Va. 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. Ceremonies, performances and exhibitions will be presented from each day, with most of the events centered in the Fair Oaks Mall Grand Court.
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