Category Archives: around Town

This is about the area of Washington DC, Fairfax, Arlington, Centreville, Manassas, and other surrounding areas.

Lunar New Year – Chinese New Year – Vietnamese Tet

Lunar New Year is the celebration of the beginning of the year based on Lunar Calendar (the cycles of the moon).  This year, Lunar New Year will be on February 05, 2019.  Vietnamese, Chinese, and a number of other East Asians are celebrating the same Lunar New Year.  Here are some Lunar New Year Celebrations in the Washington DC and Northern Virginia (Fairfax & Arlington) area:

Hội Chợ Tết Xá Lợi (Tet Festival) – Thomas Jefferson High School – 6560 Braddock Rd. Alexandria, VA 22312
Date: 26-27, Jan 2019
Chinese New Year Celebration – Luther Jackson Middle School: Feb 2 10-6
Hội Chợ Tết La Vang – Chantilly Expo: Feb 2: 10-11, Feb 3: 10-10
Tysons Corner: Feb 2: 11-1PM. Fashion Court outside of Nordstrom
Fair Oaks Mall: Feb 2 & 3: 1-5PM
Kennedy Center: Feb 09: 10 – 4PM
Parade – Chinatown DC: Feb 10: 1 – 4PM
Eden Center – Mua Lan (Lion Dance): Dates are not confirmed, but tentatively Feb 9 & Feb 10 between 11AM – 1PM


About Vietnamese Lunar New Year, directly from Wikipedia:

Tết ([tet˧˥] or [təːt˧˥]), Vietnamese New Year, Vietnamese Lunar New Year or Tet Holiday, is the most important celebration in Vietnamese culture. The word is a shortened form of Tết Nguyên Đán (節元旦), which is Sino-Vietnamese for “Feast of the First Morning of the First Day”. Tết celebrates the arrival of spring based on the Vietnamese calendar, which usually has the date falling in January or February in the Gregorian calendar.[1]

Vietnamese people celebrate the Lunar New Year annually, which is based on a lunisolar calendar (calculating both the motions of Earth around the Sun and of the Moon around Earth). Tết is generally celebrated on the same day as Chinese New Year, except when the one-hour time difference between Vietnam and China results in new moon occurring on different days. It takes place from the first day of the first month of the Vietnamese calendar (around late January or early February) until at least the third day. Many Vietnamese prepare for Tết by cooking special holiday food and cleaning the house. These foods include bánh chưng, bánh dày, dried young bamboo soup (canh măng), giò, and sticky rice. Many customs are practiced during Tết, such as visiting a person’s house on the first day of the new year (xông nhà), ancestor worship, wishing New Year’s greetings, giving lucky money to children and elderly people, and opening a shop.

Tết is also an occasion for pilgrims and family reunions. They start forgetting about the troubles of the past year and hope for a better upcoming year. They consider Tết to be the first day of spring, and the festival is often called Hội xuân (spring festival).

We live in Arlington by Lynda Terrill

My true friend wrote this blog about Arlington and I have to ask her permission to repost because it reflects so well the genuine perspective of an Arlingtonian.  It’s not something about what’s good or bad, but about the feelings and emotion!

“I loved and I do love the diversity of Arlington.  At the Arlington Education and Employment Program (REEP), I taught adult immigrants and refugees from over 80 countries.  Even now, when Arlington is much trendier than in the old days, I look out from my Starbucks table and see people from everywhere walk by on Clarendon Avenue…”

Lynda’s full blog is here:

We live in Arlington


Chilled & Refreshing in the heat

Iced Coffee Popsicles Recipe

Serves: 8


  • 3 cups fresh-brewed coffee
  • ¾ cup half-and-half cream (10% cream)
  • ½ cup sugar


  1. Combine all ingredients together in a bowl until everything is completely dissolved.
  2. Carefully pour the coffee mixture into each popsicle mold until full.
  3. Cover with tin foil and insert sticks, or cover with a lid and handle (if provided with your molds).
  4. Freeze until solid, approximately 2 hours.
  5. To unfreeze, add some hot water into your sink and submerge the mold without going over the top of the molds. After 15-30 seconds, your iced coffee popsicles should slide right out.


How Does the White House Compare to the Typical American Home?


Let’s see a few interesting facts comparing the White House to a typical home in America. My conclusion is the White House is just like my house in the urban area of Washington DC. 🙂  Also, it seems like people don’t seem to enjoy living in the White House as much, so they usually “move” after 4 years (some may want to stay for 8 years) instead of a typical American living in their homes for around 12 years.  Happy President’s Day!

Compare White House to American homes


Lunar New Year Celebration Around Fairfax

Lunar New Year plays a very important role in Asian culture.

Year of the Horse - 2014

It marks the great start for the year and creates pleasant momentum throughout the year.  Here are various celebrations around the area of Fairfax that I got from a friend.

Sat., Jan. 18 – Lunar New Year Celebration at Thomas Jefferson Library, Falls Church

Celebrate the Chinese and Vietnamese New Year with a Lion Dance, music, and crafts at this free, all-ages community event from 10:30 am to 11:15 am.

Sat., Jan. 18th – NOVA TET Festival, Annandale
The Vietnamese Literary and Artistic Club of Metropolitan DC hosts the most festive Vietnamese holiday at the NOVA TET Festival 2014. The festival will begin with the Spring Welcoming Lion Dance to bring great luck to start the Year of the Horse! There will be fames for all ages, raffles, artwork, traditional and modern dances, singing, comedy, and of course plenty of food. The event is at the NOVA Annandale Campus, 8333 Little River Turnpike, from 11 am to 5 pm; admission is just $3 per person.

Mon., Jan. 27nd – Centreville Library Chinese New Year Celebration, Centreville
Afternoon celebration (remember, it’s early-release day for elementary schools!) at Centreville Regional Library with food and crafts about the Chinese New Year. The event runs 3-4 pm.

Fri., Jan. 31st – Celebrate the Year of the Horse at Hidden Oaks, Annandale
Join the festivities of the Chinese New Year with traditions, games, stories, and a craft at Hidden Oaks Nature Center. Decorate a paper lantern and find out which animal represents your birth year; $8 per person.

Fri., Jan. 31st – Eden Center Tet Flag Raising, Falls Church
Each year, Eden Center, Northern Virginia/s premier Asian center with approximately 120 stores, hosts the Tet Celebration (Vietnamese Lunar New Year) with family-friendly festivities. This year’s event includes a flag raising at 11:30 am on Fri., Jan. 31, and continues with community celebrations beginning at beginning at 11 am on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 1 and 2; typical features include kids’ activities and a lion dance. Eden Center is in the Seven Corners area at 6751 Wilson Blvd. in Falls Church.

Fri., Jan. 31st – Chinese New Year Gala 2014, Fairfax
The Chinese American Association in the Washington DC area has organized “Chinese New Year Gala” performances for more than 15 years. This year, more than 300 artists from throughout North America will perform and work together to share Chinese culture and art. The program, at 7:30 pm, includes traditional and modern Chinese dances, singing, and more. The gala is at the Center for the Arts Concert Hall on the George Mason University Fairfax Campus. Tickets start at $20.

Sat., Feb. 1st – Asian Community Service Center Chinese New Year Festival, Falls Church
The Chinese New Year Festival at Luther Jackson Middle School in Falls Church is a huge annual all-day event hosted by ACSC. This indoor festival includes a dragon dance, lion dance, folk songs, Vietnamese Hat dance, Kung Fu demonstration, children’s fan dance and lantern dance, a meditation demonstration, and Thai, Indian, Tibetan, Korean dances, and more. There’s even a Lunar New Year parade at 2 pm! Admission is free! Luther Jackson M.S. is at 3020 Gallows Road in Falls Church. For details, see the website or call ACSC at 703-868-1509. Snow date is Saturday, Feb. 8.

Sat. & Sun., Feb. 1st & 2nd – Fair Oaks Mall Lunar New Year Celebration, Fairfax
One of the largest events of its kind in the country, Fair Oaks Mall’s 10th annual Lunar New Year Festival is expected to once again attract close to 200,000 people to the award-winning retail center over the course of the two-day celebrations. Come see more than 300 performers participate at Fair Oaks Mall’s 10th Annual Lunar New Year, representing such countries as China, Korea, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Mongolia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Tahiti and the 50h state of Hawaii. The Lunar New Year celebration features traditional Chinese dragon dances, music and dance performances, daring martial arts demonstrations, children’s crafts, multi-cultural displays and a special lantern festival. The festival is produced with the Washington Hai Hua Community Center.

Sat. & Sun., Feb. 1st & 2nd – Eden Center Tet Celebration, Falls Church
Each year, Eden Center, Northern Virginia/s premier Asian center with approximately 120 stores, hosts the Tet Celebration (Vietnamese Lunar New Year) with family-friendly festivities. This year’s event includes a flag raising at 11:30 am on Fri., Jan. 31, and continues with community celebrations beginning at 11 am on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 1 and 2; typical features include kids’ activities and a lion dance. Eden Center is in the Seven Corners area at 6751 Wilson Blvd. in Falls Church.

Sun., Feb. 2nd (2-4:30PM) Chinese New Year Parade and Festival in Washington, DC
February 2, 2014, 2-4:30 p.m. Chinatown – on H Street, NW, between 6th and 8th Streets. Each year a parade is held in Chinatown to celebrate the Chinese New Year. The event features the traditional Chinese Dragon Dance, Kung Fu demonstrations and live musical entertainment. Celebrate from 12-5 p.m. at the Chinatown Lunar New Year Festival, Chinatown Community Cultural Center, 616 H Street, NW Washington, DC. Programs and activities will include: live music and dance performances, traditional Chinese calligraphy, children’s crafts, face painting, tai chi and kung fu demonstrations, lion dancing, poetry readings, film screenings, art and photo exhibits, raffle prizes, New Year souvenirs, free giveaways, and much more. Special guest performances by: Wong People and students of Yu Ying Public Charter School.

Sat., Feb. 15 – Painting Lucky Animals at Hidden Pond, Annandale

Celebrate Chinese New Year with Chinese Brush Painting. After a beginner lesson, paint at least one lucky animal of the Chinese zodiac. Meet a live “lucky” animal and enjoy a story about this tradition. All materials provided; $8 per person.