On February 5, China’s most important holiday will officially begin. The Chinese New Year will initiate the year of the pig, and along with it a full month’s worth of fun-filled events, traditional dishes, and bubbly drinks. All over the world, the Chinese New Year will be celebrated by millions of people with its significance allowing for the the largest annual human migration in the world.
In D.C., there will be several organizations observing the holiday, which is also known as Spring Festival. See where you should head if you want to celebrate the event to the fullest!
Chinese New Year Parade
Starting at 2 p.m., the year of the pig will be celebrated with a parade route from 6th and I streets NW to 6th and H streets NW. The Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (CCBA) plan on the event including traditional lion and dragon dances, Kung Fu demonstrations, firecrackers and live music. Before the event kicks off, there will be a pre-parade party under the Friendship Arch in Chinatown. At 1 p.m. at the corner of 7th and H streets NW, DJ JAM will play some music, while the Elite All Stars Dance Troupe show off their moves.
Right next door to the Chinese New Year Parade in Gallery Place, there will be several family-friendly ways to celebrate the momentous event. The festivities will run from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. with musical performances, a Tai Chi demonstration, a lion dance performance by The Wong People, and several games available on the second floor, including mahjong and Weiqi, otherwise known as Go.
Guangdong National Orchestra Ensemble
In honor of the Lunar New Year, the Guangdong National Orchestra Ensemble will present Chinese folk music at the John F. Kennedy Center. Traditional instruments, like the pipa, erhu, and daruan will be used. Don’t worry about the cost of this performance as it is on the Millennium Stage, which allows for free performances every day with no tickets required.
Along with the Guangdong National Orchestra Ensemble, the Kennedy Center will also host the renowned National Ballet of China for "Raise the Red Lantern." With tickets ranging from $25 to $99, this performance is based on the hit 1991 film by Zhang Yimou and choreographed by Wang Xinpeng and Wang Yuanyuan. The ballet is a story about a concubine sold by her mother in rural 1920s China with a story about both love and tragedy.
For the second year in a row, the Pear Plum Café in Mt. Pleasant will teach a hands-on, two-hour class on dumpling making. There will be both vegetarian and meat-filled options, as well as a selection of wine and beer. To join this culinary adventure, ticket prices cost $60.