Lunar New Year is Sunday, January 22, 2023. It’s the most important holiday in China and is also celebrated by many other Asian countries. The specific day changes from year to year as it’s based off the lunar calendar but it’s always sometime in January or February. (For the Vietnamese, it’s the Year of the Cat!)
2023 is the Year of the Water Rabbit. The sign of the rabbit is associated with good luck, prosperity, and peace. In the element of water, this year requires us to be flexible and focus on introspection. It will be an opportunity to heal and develop your intuition. You can make your own luck by following your intuition.
Here are some Lunar New Year traditions and local AAPI businesses you can support to celebrate Lunar Near Year this year!
Buy Yourself a New Outfit
This tradition symbolizes welcoming new things into your life and new beginnings. Check out Asian owned Shopkeepers for Asian-inspired outerwear. For athleisure and cashmere separates, stop by Bitter Grace. Extra points if you get something red. Red wards off bad vibes and attracts luck.
Cleaning the house is a big tradition. It’s usually done before Lunar New Year as it’s considered bad luck to clean the day of. Making sure the house is clean symbolizes cleansing bad energy from the year before.
Lunar New Year Feast
There are many “lucky” foods to eat to call in more prosperity in abundance. Fish, dumplings, noodles and spring rolls are just some of the foods you can eat to celebrate the new year.
With multiple locations in the DMV, Urban Hot Pot is all you can eat. The wait can get very long at this popular place so go early or late to catch a table.
Go to Gyuzu for a Japanese-style yakiniku BBQ restaurant experience located in Rockville, Maryland.
Check out the recently opened LIVE-K KTV in The Wharf for karaoke and food with a club atmosphere. Their private rooms fit from 15 to 40. You’ll feel like you’ve been transported to Asia.
Pho 75 is a staple pho restaurant in the DMV. I’ve been going to the Rockville location for decades. It’s both cheap and satisfying!
For something sweet, Sweets by Caroline sells super cute macaroons. The Lunar New Year Set is unfortunately sold out but check out her Instagram for specials and seasonal designs. Lunar New Year actually lasts for 15 days so there is time to place an order and celebrate the end of the holiday!
Visit Ching China Cha in Georgetown to discover a new favorite tea and experience a traditional Chinese tea ceremony. They also have food items like Mongolian dumplings and Yunnan noodles.
LIVE-K KTV: 730 Maine Ave. SW, DC; live-k.com
Pho 75: 771 Hungerford Dr. Rockville, MD
Ching China Cha: 1063 Wisconsin Ave. NW, DC; chingchingcha.com
Experience Lunar New Year In-Person
There are lots of events going on in the city. Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Museum of Asian Art are hosting live and virtual events. Events include panel discussions, meditation, music, lion dances and more.
Ice Cream Jubilee is hosting ice cream tasting flights of their special holiday flavors in their stores. Some flavors include Red Bean Almond Cookie and Pear Plum Wine Sorbet.
For a hands-on sweets experience, Study Japanese in Arlington is hosting a wagashi (Japanese sweets) making class. Tickets are only $20.