6 Ways to Celebrate the Lunar New Year
Welcome the Year of the Ox with these grand feasts and fun activities.
This year, perhaps more than ever, is a good time to celebrate health, luck and the promise of reuniting with family. Here are a few ways to mark the occasion.
Feast on foods that promise to bring good luck and prosperity—dumplings, noodles, whole fish, Peking duck and Lion’s head stew (a meatball stew with napa cabbage). The dishes prepared by this former Chinese embassy chef and his equally talented family members are the real deal. //Peter Chang, 2503-E North Harrison St. Arlington; Mama Chang, 3251 Old Lee Highway, Fairfax
Find out why presidents, ambassadors, celebrities and other luminaries have been frequenting this Falls Church establishment for more than 40 years. Chinese New Year specials at the celebrated Tsui family restaurant—a 2019 James Beard Foundation award finalist for outstanding service—include jumbo softshell crabs, walnut chicken, firecracker sea scallops and five-spiced beef. The showstopper, though, is whole crispy rockfish, a traditional New Year dish symbolizing abundance and profit. //6029 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church
The museums remain closed, but the Smithsonian American Art Museum has an online trove of celebratory fun, including craft projects for kids, coloring pages featuring artworks from the museum collection, and videos highlighting Lunar New Year traditions and customs.
Now through Feb. 28, Victoria Lai’s artisanal scoop shop is offering “tasting flights” and 5-pint packs of Asian-inspired flavors such as red bean almond cookie, citrus Sichuan peppercorn, coconut lychee lime, roasted barley tea, matcha green tea and Thai iced tea. //4238 Wilson Blvd., Arlington (Ballston Quarter Market)
Scott Chung and Kevin Tien’s Asian barbecue pop-up is offering a special Lunar New Year feast that’s sure to leave you feeling fat and happy. The menu includes dragon Rangoon, focaccia shrimp toast, stir-fried longevity noodles, smoked General Tso’s rib tips, soupy brisket dumplings, red bean soup and emperor’s duck. The $150 spread serves 4-5 people and must be pre-ordered for 4 p.m. pickup on February 20. //Wild Tiger operates out of Bun’d Up, 1201 S. Joyce St., Arlington (Westpost)
The Chinese New Year Festival, hosted by the Asian Community Service Center, that typically takes place at Luther Jackson Middle School in Falls Church isn’t happening this year. But you can watch previous years’ Dragon Dance performances online.