Chinese New Year, also known as Spring Festival will officially begin on February 16, 2018.
Lucky for us, Washington DC has numerous ways to celebrate the year of the dog.
Chinese New Year Festival- Smithsonian American Art Museum
8th and F Streets NW, Washington DC 20004
On February 10th from 11:30 am to 3:00 pm this free event will celebrate the lunar Year right in the heart of Chinatown. There is a long list of activities including panda crafts, an art scavenger hunt, and traditional paper cutting. Enjoy traditional Chinese music, Sichuan opera and acrobatics.
Chinese New Year Celebration- The Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
1050 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20560
This recently reopened gallery is known for fine Asian art and will host its fourth annual Chinese New Year celebration.This event will highlight the Sichuan Province, which is the home of the giant pandas. You can see puppetry, interactive cooking, live opera performances and art demos, acrobatics, and Chinese art exhibitions. Also, take advantage of the chance to sample spicy dishes. Admission is free, and the event is from 11 am to 5 pm on February 11th.
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts- Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra
Concert Hall, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566
One of China’s most brilliant orchestras will be led by world-renowned artist and conductor Tan Dun. The program includes Stravinsky classics and also works by Guan Xia and Tan Dun himself. February 15, 2018, at 8 p.m. Tickets
Kennedy Center Millenium Stage – Lunar New Year: Chengdu’s Traditional Folk Music
This free performance will feature the traditional folk music of Chengdu China. Delight your ears with the sound of beautiful stringed instruments, and the heavenly sounds of bamboo flutes during this performance by World-class artist from Chengdu. As with all Millenium Stage programs, showtime is a 6 p.m. on February 16th.
Kennedy Center Family Day- Lunar New Year celebration
Children will love this event! They can watch footage of and write letters to Bao Bao. Your little ones can play dress-up, take pictures and enjoy live performances like puppetry, acrobatics, and folk dancing. There are several crafts available including paper umbrella coloring, paper cutting, block printing and Sichuan embroidery. Watching the masters at work in calligraphy, sugar painting, and bamboo weaving work is fun for all ages! Admission is free and the event is from 9 am to 3 pm on February 17th. There is a Millenium stage performance on this evening as well featuring Sichuan opera. Read about all Lunar Year events at the Kennedy Center here.
Gallery Place Metro Station- DC Chinese New Year’s Parade
This annual parade is a DC signature event! This year is promising to be the largest yet, with an abundance of entries. You can expect elaborate floats during this fun procession through China Town. This event is free on February 18th and begins at 2 pm.
Chinatown happens to be home to some of DC’s most fabulous hotels. If you need help booking one (and if you want to save more) visit RoomShare. When travelers cancel their plans at the last minute, hotels are often slow to update these changes and usually won’t show you the rooms that have recently become available. RoomShare will not only show you these vacancies, but they will heavily discount the booking fee. If you need to cancel your plans, don’t worry, you can sell your reservation back through RoomShare to get back a portion of your booking fee.
If you frequently travel alone, then you should create a profile on RoomShare and with the preferences, and information you enter you will be matched to a same-sex roommate to share the room with and the cost. You can sleep comfortably in your own bed, and use some of what you saved to buy some Chinese souvenirs!
Happy Chinese New Year!