Montgomery County Celebrates Chinese New Year

It’s the year of the goat and in Chinese culture anyone born in this year is calm and gentle.

Chinese New Year for slider 450x280In Montgomery County, the Lunar New Year or Chinese New Year, will be celebrated with free programs on Montgomery County Public Libraries from Feb. 7 to 22 that include special performances, introduction to traditional dances, and puppet shows.

The celebration begins on the new moon on the first day of the New Year on Feb. 19 and ends on the full moon 15 days later. During this important time, it is traditional to wear red to bring luck and happiness.

“Chinese New Year is a time for families to be together. Wherever they are, people come home to celebrate the festival with their families. The New Year’s Eve dinner is called Reunion Dinner, and is believed to be the most important meal of the year,” said LiFang C. Liu, deputy executive director of Chinese Culture and Community Service Center.

Liu added that people born in the year of the Goat are believed to be gentle, shy, stable, sympathetic, amicable, and brimming with a strong sense of kindheartedness and justice.

“The most common Chinese New Year foods includes dumplings, fish, spring rolls, and niangao,” Liu said.

The Chinese Culture and Community Service Center is also hosting the 16th Annual Lunar New Year Festival from Feb 16 to March 1. at the Lakeforest Mall in Gaithersburg. Two weeks of educational displays located around the mall including Chinese knots, silk thread flowers, Chinese painting and calligraphy, and a special exhibition of Chinese Music.

According to a press release, seventy-foot dragons, thirty-foot calligraphy banners, five-foot lanterns and a 210-foot representation of the Great Wall of China painted by renowned artist Bertrand Mao will set the backdrop as Lakeforest Mall prepares to conduct its annual Lunar New Year celebration.

“We also have the vast array of cultural and traditional performances and workshops on the weekend,” she said.

Throughout the two weeks, visitors will have a chance to see folk dances, martial arts, traditional Chinese paintings, calligraphy, silk flowers and more.

  • Launch Event  on Feb. 21

The Lunar New Year celebration at Lakeforest officially kicks-off in Center Court with a lively dragon dance at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, February 21st. A ribbon cutting ceremony with local dignitaries will launch the celebration.

  • Entertainment, Feb. 21, 22, 28 and March 1

On the weekends of the celebration (February 21, 22, 28, & March 1), Center Court at Lakeforest will be the site of exciting variety shows, which will include dragon and lion dances, folk dances, martial arts and other performances. A closing ceremony will be held on Sunday, March 1 starting at 5:00 p.m.

  • Cultural Displays, Feb. 16 through March 1

Throughout the common area of the shopping center visitors will find displays of Chinese art and culture, including New Year traditions, traditional Chinese paintings, calligraphy, silk flowers and more. The special exhibit this year is “Chinese Music.”

Lakeforest Mall is located at 701 Russell Avenue in Gaithersburg.





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Aline Barros

About Aline Barros

Aline Barros is a multimedia reporter and community engagement specialist with Montgomery Community Media. She can be reached at and on Twitter at @AlineBarros2.


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