Chinese New Year falls on February 16 this year, but there are lively festivities happening throughout the entire month!

Here are two of the Chinese New Year events that you're not going to want to miss!

A little background:

The Chinese New Year aligns with the Lunar New Year, following the sign of the zodiac. Traditionally, this event celebrated and honored deities and significant ancestors. Each year honors an animal, and this year will be the year of the dog. From cleaning the house "to sweep away any ill-fortune" and create room for good luck, to decorating windows and doors, setting off firecrackers, and giving away money in red envelopes, China's New Year traditions all revolve around themes of good fortune and happiness. And in Washington, D.C., it means tons of festivals, events, and specials. [caption id="attachment_6930" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]Chinese New Year Courtesy of[/caption]

Chinese New Year’s Parade

WHEN: Sunday, February 18 | 2 p.m. WHERE: Route Start: 6th & Eye St NW, Washington, D.C., 20001; Route End: 6th & H St. NW, Washington, D.C., 20001 in the heart of the Chinatown neighborhood in Washington, D.C. COST: Free admission DETAILS: While the parade is being put on by The Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (CCBA), it is a community-based celebration of the Lunar New Year. This year, the event will be grander than ever before, featuring highlights like “traditional lion and dragon dances, Kung Fu demonstrations, firecrackers, live music, and marching bands.” Many schools, dance troupes, community organizations, and even sports teams are set to participate, incorporating not only the traditional Chinese traditions of the Chinatown neighborhood, but also the modern melding of cultures, groups, businesses, and events that this area of Washington, D.C,. has experienced. The parade’s grand finale will be a fireworks display. Click here for more details. [caption id="attachment_6929" align="aligncenter" width="700"]Chinese New Year Courtesy of[/caption]

Lunar New Year Celebration at the Kennedy Center

WHEN: Saturday, February 17 | 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. WHERE: John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts (roof terrace) | 2700 F St. NW, Washington, D.C., 20566 COST: Free admission DETAILS: If you’re looking to have some wholesome fun and celebrate the Chinese New Year with the whole family, this may be the event for you. There will be tons of activities and entertainment, as well as snacks and prizes. The focus of this celebration will be on the arts -- and specifically the culture of the Chengdu Plain region of China. There are also several performances accompanying this day festival. Check the full schedule here. [caption id="attachment_6928" align="aligncenter" width="720"]Chinese New Year Courtesy of[/caption] Chinese New Year is a wonderful way to become part of the D.C. community and learn about a culture halfway across the world! Have you celebrated Chinese New Year in Washington, D.C., before? What was your favorite part of the festivities? Are you planning to attend the parade this year? Let us know in the comments below!

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