The Lunar New Year is one of the most auspicious holidays celebrated in the Chinese culture on an annual basis around the world, and this year it begins on February 5, 2019.
The Spring Festival, as it is commonly called, began as an agrarian tradition based on the first new moon of the Chinese lunar calendar and ending on the first full moon approximately 15 days later. These dates vary year to year based on the cycles of the moon. The Lunar New Year is also celebrated in other Asian countries to include Korea where it is called Seollal.
Typical traditions during this holiday actually begin 10 days prior to the new moon with many people conducting a deep clean of their houses to rid their homes of any bad luck and in anticipation of welcoming guests into their home in the coming weeks of celebrations. The Lunar New Year Eve and Day characteristically commence with spending quality time with close friends and family and can include religious ceremonies honoring ancestors. Red packets or envelopes filled with money are commonly given to children by adults as a symbol of prosperity and good fortune to come in the future. Big feasts are served including symbolic foods such as fish and dumplings to wish everyone luck, wealth, and abundance in the New Year. Celebrations for the Lunar New Year culminate on the 15th day with the Lantern Festival. This festival includes dazzling displays of fireworks and dance performances and at nighttime, families light colorful lanterns by their homes.
With the beginning of the Lunar New Year only days away, we encourage our Barker families to seek out local events and partake in the fun, cultural traditions associated with this holiday! Below are some suggestions for celebrations in our area:
· February 2, 2019: Chinese New Year Festival in Falls Church, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. at the Luther Jackson Middle School, 3020 Gallows Road, Falls Church, VA 22042
· February 7, 2019: Lunar New Year- Guangdong National Orchestra Ensemble, 6 p.m. at the Millennium Stage at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566
· February 8, 2019: Lunar New Year- Guangdong Arts Troupe, 6 p.m. at the Millennium Stage at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566
· February 9, 2019: Kennedy Center Chinese New Year Family Day, 10 a.m. at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566
· February 10, 2019: Chinatown Lunar New Year Festival 2019- Year of the Pig, 12:30-5 p.m. at the Chinatown Community Cultural Center, 616 H Street NW, #201, Washington, DC 20001
· February 10, 2019: DC Chinese New Year Parade, 2 p.m. at the Gallery Place Metro Station, 630 H Street NW, Washington, DC 20001
· February 11, 2019: The Spring Bloom Grand Ceremony presented by the American Chinese School, 8 p.m. at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566
· February 13-16, 2019: National Ballet of China- “Raise the Red Lantern,” at 7:30 p.m. at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566
· February 16, 2019: Rockville’s Lunar New Year Celebration, 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at Richard Montgomery High School, 250 Richard Montgomery Dr., Rockville, MD 20852
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