DC’s Chinatown celebrates Lunar New Year (includes video story)

The Washington, D.C. community gathered in the heart of the city’s Chinatown on Sunday to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year. The celebration returned to the streets for the first time since 2020 – before the Coronavirus pandemic.

Attendees welcomed the Year of the Rabbit, which represents peace and self-reflection, as they left behind the Year of the Tiger, which symbolizes a period of action.

Community involvement played a big part in the parade as local organizations performed for the public. One of them was the Wong People Kung Fu Association, a group that teaches martial art and is also known for its traditional southern Chinese lion dance. 

Ndaba, a sihing (elder brother) from Wong People, spoke of the importance of the celebration and the impact it has on the community. He said the association teaches students how to be positive, constructive and of value to themselves, their families, and the people around them. 

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the Asian-American community is close to five percent of the D.C. population, but people from all backgrounds were present to honor the Chinese culture. 

“It’s just a really fun time for people to get together and celebrate their culture and heritage,” said Sloan Cole, 21, a Miami native who came with her group of friends to watch the parade for the first time. 

The event speakers paid respect and stood in solidarity with the victims of the mass shooting that occurred at a similar celebration in California on Saturday.

Rachel Costa is a student at Florida International University majoring in Digital Journalism and Communications. She was born and raised in Brazil, and enjoys reading and writing. In the future, she hopes to work in the publishing industry.