DIANA BOWEN / THE EAGLE
Jan. 23 officially rang in the lunar calendar’s Year of the Dragon, but the festivities go into full swing this Sunday in the heart of D.C.’s Chinatown.
The Eagle gives you a full guide to the downtown celebration from what to do, where to go and what to eat! Don’t forget to wear red (a color that supposedly wards off evil spirits), and you’ll ring in this New Year in a fun new way.
What to Do
In order to beat the crowds that in past years have reached upwards of around 40,000 people, arrive early and head to Chinatown Coffee Co. for a morning pick-me-up. This coffee shop serves special brands of Direct Trade coffee and locally sourced dairy and pastries by world class baristas and was recently named by The Washingtonian Magazine as the best of Penn Quarter.
For information on menu, hours and prices please visit http://www.chinatowncoffee.com.
Before the big Chinese New Year Parade kicks off Jan. 29, head to D.C.’s Chinese Cultural Community Center at noon to learn more about the importance and traditions of the Chinese New Year. Live music and dance performances, traditional Chinese calligraphy, face painting, tai chi and kung fu demonstrations, lion dancing, film screenings, art and photo exhibits, raffle prizes, New Year souvenirs, free giveaways and much more will be hosted at the center. Best part? It’s free!
For more information on events and times, visit the Chinese Cultural Community Center’s website at www.ccccdc.org.
Where to Go
D.C.’s Chinese New Year Parade kicks off at 2 p.m. Jan. 29, but be sure to arrive early (at least before 1:30 p.m.) to snag the best spot for photos and viewing the lion dancers. An elaborate display of costumed dancers and parade floats will wind along 7th and H Street, right through the heart of Chinatown. The biggest highlight of the parade will be the traditional Chinese Dragon Dance as well as the giant firecrackers set to go off in the middle of the event!
For more information on times and the parade route visit www.chineseparadedc.com.
What to Eat
Chinatown is, of course, the obvious place to go for great Chinese food, but for an upscale twist on Chinese cuisine, try Ping Pong Dim Sum, which takes traditional dim sum and spices it up with new flavor combinations and a swanky environment. The chicken puffs are out of this world.
Also, through the 15 days of the Chinese New Year, they’re offering deluxe fixed-price menus as well as drink specials and raffles. For more information on specials and to make reservations, please visit www.pingpongdimsum.us.