12 Ways to Celebrate Lunar New Year Around DC

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Lion dance performances, percussion concerts, festive food, and more.

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Photograph by Edward Der.

Lunar New Year starts on January 22, kicking off 15 days of celebration. Places around DC are commemorating the holiday with special performances, menus, and parades. Here’s where to celebrate the Year of the Rabbit. 

2023 Lunar New Year Parade 

When: Sunday, January 22 from 1 PM to 3 PM 

Where: 6th and I St., NW 

The annual parade returns for the first time since 2020, bringing lion dances and colorful performances to the streets of Chinatown. Tickets aren’t required, but you can reserve a free spot online.

DC’s Lunar New Year Parade. Photograph courtesy of Brandon On.

American Art Museum’s Lunar New Year Celebration 

When: Saturday, January 28 from 11:30 AM to 3 PM 

Where: G St. and 8th St., NW

The Smithsonian institution is teaming up with the Chinese Embassy and the Korean Cultural Center for this family-friendly event. Learn about Lunar New Year traditions through performances, food, and an art scavenger hunt. Tickets aren’t required, but registration is encouraged.

Lunar New Year dinner at Bar Chinois

When: Sunday, January 22

Where: 455 I St., NW

The Mount Vernon Triangle spot is serving a Lunar New Year dinner with pork belly bao, Singaporean fried fish, Hong Kong-style BBQ chicken, and seven different types of dumplings. Reservation can be made online.

Chiko’s Lunar New Year Menu 

When: Monday, January 23 to Sunday, January 29

Where: Multiple locations in DC, MD, VA.

For a week, the Chinese-Korean restaurant will serve a special menu featuring chicken and rabbit dumplings, whole branzino, and jjim dak, chicken thighs with Korean chili peppers. An $80 menu for two with dishes such as shrimp and apple kimchi, chilled black bean clams, and soy-glazed lotus root will be available on January 23. Pre-order the meal online.

Chiko’s Lunar New Year Offerings. Photograph courtesy of Rey Lopez.

China Chilcano’s Lunar New Year Menu

When: Sunday, January 22 to Sunday, January 29

Where: 418 7th St., NW

The special menu at this José Andrés spot includes wonton soup, nain gao (Shanghai stir-fried rice cakes), spring rolls, sesame rice balls, and a whole fish. There are also cocktails such as the Liar’s Dice, made with gin and pea flower, and the Tea Service, made with black tea and Peruvian rum. Reservations can be made online.

China Chilcano’s special cocktail, Tea Service. Photo courtesy of China Chilcano.

Chinese Cultural Institute’s Lunar New Year Celebration 

When: Sunday, January 21 from 4:30 PM to 7:30 PM

Where: 4373 Mason Pond Dr., Fairfax

Hop into the Year of the Rabbit with a buffet dinner, tea tasting, calligraphy demonstrations, and cultural exhibits. Ticket start at $75 and can be purchased online

Ice Cream Jubilee’s Lunar New Year Tasting 

When: Friday, January 13 to Sunday, February 12 

Where: 301 Water St., SE; 1407 T St., NW; 4238 Wilson Blvd., Arlington

The scoop shop is rolling out five new flavors for the new year: red bean almond cookie, roasted barley tea, miso caramel and peanut butter cookies, dan tat brulee (inspired by a Chinese dim sum egg custard tart), and pear plum wine sorbet. Grab a flight of five mini scoops as well as a pint to take home. Tickets are $19 and can be purchased online

Ice Cream Jubilee’s Lunar New Year Flight. Photograph courtesy of Ice Cream Jubilee.

National Gallery of Art’s Lunar New Year Celebration

When: Sunday, January 22 at 1 PM and 3 PM 

Where: 4th St. and Constitution Ave., NW 

Watch Korean drum troupe Washington Samulnori perform a concert at the art museum. The production will feature four instruments: the changgo (an hourglass-shaped drum), buk (a barrel drum), jing (a large gong), and kkwaenggwari (a small gong). Registration is not required. 

National Museum of Asian Art’s Lunar New Year Celebration

When: Friday, January 20 at 12 PM 

Where: 1050 Independence Ave., SW

Experience a lion dance, watch cooking demonstrations, and make some crafts at this museum event. Curators will lead gallery tours through the current exhibits. No tickets needed. 

U-hee Nori by U-hee Company at the Kennedy Center 

When: Wednesday, February 1 at 6 PM 

Where: 2700 F St., NW

Visit the Millennium Stage to see a modern take on Yeonhee, a traditional form of Korean music. Six artists will perform several mini-plays, using percussion instruments and engaging with the audience. Tickets go on sale Wednesday, January 18. 

Tiki on 18th’s Lunar New Year Happy Hour

When: Tuesday, January 24 from 5 PM to 8 PM

Where: 2411 18th St., NW

Kick off the new year with cocktails such as the Little Red Envelope, made with vodka and mango, and the Lucky Rabbits, Lucky Cats, a combination of tequila, grapefruit, and lime. Pair drinks with mumbo-sauce tofu and vegetarian spring rolls.

Lunar New Year Celebration at Tyson’s Corner

When: Saturday, January 28 from 1 PM to 3 PM

Where: 1961 Chain Bridge Rd., Tysons

Stop by the Lunar New Year festivities on the mall’s lower level for a magic show, traditional lion dance, Mongolian fashion show, and more. 

Editorial Fellow

Keely recently graduated with her master’s in journalism from American University and has reported on local DC, national politics, and business. She has previously written for The Capitol Forum.

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