What to Do and See for Chinese New Year in D.C.?

What Is Chinese New Year?

Unlike our New Year festivities, which always take place at midnight between December 31st and January 1st, Chinese New Year is a movable celebration. Based on the lunar calendar, Chinese New Year celebrations traditionally last 15 days. The new moon falling between 21 January and 20 February marks the New Year's first day, and celebrations often start the night before. The Lantern Festival marks the end of the 15-day celebratory period. This year, celebrations start January 28, 2017. 

What does the Year of the Rooster Mean? 

The Chinese zodiac assigns an animal to each year in twelve-year cycles-- twelve years because that approximates Jupiter's cycle of 11.86 years. The rooster is the only bird in the Chinese zodiac. Last year was the Monkey's, and 2018 will bring in the Year of the Dog.

Those born these years means you are born in the Year of the Rooster: 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005

What To Do in D.C.?

The Chinese New Year Parade and Festival happens Sunday 29 January in Chinatown-- on H Street NW between 6th and 7th Streets-- from 2 to 5 PM. Firecrackers will go off at 3.45 PM.

There's also a Chinese Lunar New Year Festival that day at the Chinatown Community Cultural Center (616 H Street NW). The event is free, and features performances by acrobats from Beijing, Chinese musicians, plus plenty more for people of all ages to enjoy.  

In honor of the Year of the Rooster, you can also head to the National Gallery's East Building to view the Blue Rooster.  The fifteen foot tall sculpture, "Hahn/Cock," was created by Katharina Fritsch. Previously, it was displayed in London in Trafalgar Square. 

What To Eat?

 If you'd prefer to stick around Adams Morgan, there's no more convenient place to eat than Wok and Roll, directly across Belmont Road from HighRoad.

In Chinatown, check out China Boy (817 6th Street NW), or Full Kee (509 H Street NW) for a super casual, no-frills setting. 

If you're up for the trip, Dumplings and Beyond (2400 Wisconsin Avenue NW), in DC's Glover Park neighborhood, gets terrific reviews. And the Washington Post raved about Panda Gourmet (2700 New York Ave NE), located on the ground floor of a Days Inn far into Northeast Washington, near the Maryland line.