Celebrate Lunar New Year in Washington, DC with Exciting Events and Activities

Welcome the Lunar New Year, also known as the Spring Festival in China, starting from February 10, 2024. Washington, DC, with its diverse Asian communities including Chinatown, offers a host of festivities to celebrate this occasion. Here’s a guide to some of the best events and activities in the city to mark the Year of the Dragon.

  1. Winter Lantern Festival (Until Feb. 18) Discover over 1,000 handcrafted lanterns at the Winter Lantern Festival. This event showcases Chinese myths, zodiacs, and legendary figures through a mesmerizing display of lanterns, including mammoths and polar bears. Interactive light installations like swings and tunnels add to the experience.
  • Location: 8025 Galleria Drive, Tysons, VA 22102
  1. Lunar New Year Celebration at The Kennedy Center (Jan. 27) Celebrate for free at The Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage. Enjoy “The Lion Dance” by the Tai Yim Kung Fu School and performances by the Concert Chorale of Washington.
  • Time: 6 p.m. | Location: 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566
  1. Family Festival at the National Museum of Asian Art (Feb. 3) The Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art hosts a free family festival. It includes performances, tours, and hands-on activities celebrating the Lunar New Year.
  • Time: 11 a.m. | Location: 1050 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20560
  1. DowntownDC’s Lunar New Year Event (Feb. 3) Join DowntownDC BID for a day of cultural activities, including Tai Chi, calligraphy, lion dancers, and traditional foods. The celebration extends to New York Avenue Park with lantern displays and sidewalk chalk art.
  • Time: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. | Location: Chinatown Park, I Street between 5th & 6th Streets NW, Washington, DC 20001
  1. “The Stories Behind the Chinese Menu” Online Seminar (Feb. 8) Learn about Chinese-American cuisine in an online seminar hosted by Smithsonian Associates. Grace Lin, a noted author, will explore the history and myths behind popular dishes.
  2. China Chilcano’s Special Menu (Feb. 8-11) Indulge in a specialty menu at China Chilcano by chef José Andrés. The menu features traditional Chinese New Year dishes and a Lion Dance performance on Feb. 10.
  • Location: 418 7th Street NW, Washington, DC 20004
  1. Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Celebration (Feb. 10) SAAM, in partnership with the Embassy of China, offers a free event featuring Chinese and Korean traditions, arts, and food.
  • Time: 11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. | Location: 8th and G Streets NW, Washington, DC 20004
  1. DC Lunar New Year Parade (Feb. 11) Mayor Muriel Bowser hosts the annual parade featuring diverse performances and a firecracker finale.
  • Time: 2 p.m. | Location: 6th and I Streets NW, Washington, DC 20001
  1. DAR Museum’s Lunar New Year Festival (Feb. 17) Enjoy performances, games, and activities at the DAR Museum’s family-friendly event.
  • Time: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. | Location: 1776 D Street NW, Washington, DC 20006
  1. Explore Penn Quarter/Chinatown Visit this vibrant neighborhood for dining, shopping, and cultural attractions like the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery.
  2. Kennedy Center’s Virtual Programming Experience Lunar New Year digitally with the Kennedy Center’s online offerings, featuring past performances and educational content.