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Smithsonian American Art Museum

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Ways to Celebrate the Lunar New Year in Washington, DC

Honor the turn of the calendar with these Lunar & Chinese New Year activities and events in DC.

Lunar New Year, a celebration known in China as “Spring Festival,” begins on Jan. 22, 2023. With a variety of Asian cultures in the DC area, including Chinatown, the nation's capital features numerous ways to celebrate the holiday. We’ve detailed events and activities in Washington, DC that can help you kick off the Year of the Rabbit just right.


Winter Lantern Festival – Through Feb. 12

Explore Chinese myths, legends and zodiacs though a dazzling wonderland of over 1,000 handmade lanterns and displays. Discover designs featuring mammoths, polar bears, penguins and more. Plus, enjoy interactive light swings, see-saws and tunnels. On Jan. 28 over at Tysons Corner Center, check out another special Lunar New Year celebration in the Fashion Court which is free to attend.

Lerner Town Square at Tysons II, 8025 Galleria Drive, Tysons, VA 22102


Lunar New Year 2023 Celebrations at the National Museum of Asian Art – Jan. 21

National Museum of Asian Art

National Museum of Asian Art

The Smithsonian's free National Museum of Asian Art, known for an extensive collection of vibrant and colorful Asian art, will ring in the Year of the Rabbit with a day of events dedicated to the Lunar New Year. Expect performances, lectures, hands-on activities, a traditional lion dance performance, an in-depth cooking demonstration and curator-led gallery tours of featured exhibitions.
12-4 p.m. |  Free Admission |  More Info
Smithsonian's National Museum of Asian Art, 1050 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20560


Union Market's Chinese Lunar New Year Lion Dance - Jan. 21

Celebrate the 2023 Lunar Rabbit New Year with the Chinese Street Market! Stop by to watch a traditional Lunar New Year lion dance by the nonprofit Choy Wun Lion Dance Troupe. Bring cash to “feed the lions” and support their hard work.

2-4:30 p.m. | More Info

1309 5th St NE, Washington, DC 20002


Lunar New Year at The Kennedy Center - Jan. 21

The Kennedy Center welcomes you and your entire family to this free Lunar New Year celebration on its Millennium Stage. Honor the “Year of the Rabbit” with performances of The Lion Dance by the Tai Yim Kung Fu School and songs from the Concert Chorale of Washington.
6 p.m. |  Free admission
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566


Lunar New Year Night: Washington Wizards vs. Orlando Magic - Jan. 21

The hometown Wizards play right in the heart of Chinatown at the Capital One Arena. On Saturday, Jan. 21, the Wiz will take on the Orlando Magic on a night themed around the Lunar New Year. The celebration will feature talent all over the court as well as themed activities and giveaways throughout the night.
7 p.m. |  Tickets
Capital One Arena, 601 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20004


Downtown DC 2023 Lunar New Year Parade – Jan. 22

Join Mayor Muriel Bowser in downtown DC for the 2023 Lunar New Year Parade in honor of the Year of the Rabbit. The annual parade includes colorful and diverse contingents, a ceremony with traditional performances and an exciting firecracker finale. Assembly time is 1 p.m., the parade will step off at 2 p.m. at 6th and I streets NW and the staged ceremony begins at the end of the parade route at approximately 3 p.m. at 6th and H streets.
1 p.m. |  More Info
6th and I Streets NW, Washington, DC 20001


Smithsonian American Art Museum's Lunar New Year Celebration – Jan. 28

The Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) honors the Lunar New Year with this free celebration presented in partnership with the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the United States of America. Enjoy a plethora of Chinese and Korean traditions as well as dances, performances, arts and crafts, food and much more. The Kogod Courtyard Cafe will also offer a special Lunar New Year menu. Be sure to explore even more activities on SAAM’s Lunar New Year Family Zone.
11:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. |  Free Admission |  More Info
Smithsonian American Art Museum, 8th and G Streets NW, Washington, DC 20004


Lunar New Year Festival at DAR Museum - Jan. 28

Join the DAR Museum and the Asian Fusion Gallery for a celebration of Lunar New Year traditions. This free, family-friendly event will feature live performances, traditional calligraphy and cultural games, a 360-degree photo booth, festive food and giveaways.

12-5 p.m.|  Free Admission |  More Info

1776 D Street NW, Washington, DC 20006


'U-hee Nori' by U-hee Company at The Kennedy Center - Feb. 2

In honor of the Year of the Rabbit, visit the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage for a free performance by U-hee Company, which is comprised of six young Korean artists who re-interpret their native country’s traditional music for a modern audience. The company will showcase U-hee Nori, which consists of several mini-plays that dive into Korean culture and invoke audience interaction.
6 p.m. |  Free Admission |  More Info
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566


Asian-inspired ice cream tasting flights for the Lunar New Year

Ice Cream Jubilee celebrates the Year of the Rabbit with new flavors and Asian-inspired ice cream tasting flights. Savor creations like Dan Tat Brulee (flakey pastry crust pieces, crunchy sugar brulee and a rich vanilla custard ice cream), which is inspired by "dan tat," a classic Chinese dim sum egg custard tart. There's also Miso Caramel & Peanut Butter Cookies, Roasted Barley Tea and Red Bean Almond Cookie. Tasting flight tickets ($19) include one serving of five (5) limited edition flavors and an ice cream pint to take home.


Explore the Penn Quarter/Chinatown neighborhood

Penn Quarter/Chinatown is one of the liveliest neighborhoods in the District. There are plenty of restaurants nearby, as well as the shopping hub that is CityCenterDC. The Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery are housed in the same building across the street, while the National Gallery of Art is a short walk away. You can also check out a play at Ford’s Theatre or Shakespeare Theatre Company.


Check out the Kennedy Center's virtual Lunar New Year programming

Kennedy Center, Interior

The Kennedy Center offers a plethora of digital programming focused on the Lunar New Year, including performances from past celebrations, on its website. Enjoy videos and an array of virtual learning options from DC's most beloved cultural institution.

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