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Celebrate America’s Newest National Holiday: Chinese New Year

Wonkabout

In who knows how long (two, three years depending on Egypt?) our Chinese overlords will have complete control of America and only those who love pandas and have nimble fingers will survive. This is why it isessential that everyone chug some MSG and do some serious celebrating for the Chinese New Year, now America's New Year, on Thursday. If all goes well, the holiday will get to be a part of the great American tradition of enjoying the food and alcohol of another culture on their special day without having to actually associate with the ethnic group. Gung Hey Fat Choy: Make your reservations now.


Washingtonians may be a bit confused as to what exactly Chinese culture is, as, in D.C., Chinatown includes a celebration of American hipsters (Urban Outfitters), American gluttony (Fuddrucker's) and American beauty (Hooters). But that's no reason to not celebrate this important day. Think of the food!

Where to celebrate the Chinese New Year in D.C.:

  • Chinatown Coffee Co.: This hipster-y coffee shop that's all coffee and no China, will celebrate the Chinese New Year on Sunday with the “The Crazy Rabbit” cocktail, which is made from absinthe and champagne. [Chinatown Coffee Co.]
  • Zentan: From February 3rd through February 5th, Zentan will be offering a special four-course prix-fixe menu for $47.09 that includes such items as winter melon and ham soup, steamed vegetable dumplings, the 19-ingredient Singapore slaw, crispy garlic chicken with sweet and sour sauce, and Hong Kong-style steamed fish with chili black bean sauce. Guests will leave with a red envelope filled with eight coins, that there is no obligation to return at a later date. [Zentan]
  • Ping Pong Dim Sum: Throughout the month of February, to mark the holiday, Ping Pong Dim Sum will be serving fried white fish and seaweed rolls (which are a symbol of wealth and prosperity, so EAT UP), spicy beef and shiitake mushroom rice pots, Chinese chocolate brownies, and, to drink, a "Pear and Elderflower Collins," a drink made with gin, elderflower liqueur, lemon juice and fresh pear. [Ping Pong Dim Sum]
  • Zengo: According to the Chinese New Year menu at this Latin-Asian restaurant, eating mushroom egg rolls will bring you wealth. And this restaurant is actually in Chinatown. [Zengo]
  • Buddha Bar: From February 3rd-17th, Buddah Bar will offer a special prix-fixe menu for $75 that includes a Chinese chicken salad, honey soy roasted Peking duck, chilled mango soup, and, hopefully, a guarantee of prosperity in the year to come. [Buddha Bar]

The Chinese New Year Parade and Festival is Sunday from 2-5PM in D.C.'s makeshift Chinatown. The event features a Chinese dragon dance, kung fu demonstrations and a giant firecracker that will be set off at exactly 3:45PM. Or, if you just want some good old fashioned Chinese food, try City Lights of China, Sichuan Pavilion, Great Wall Szechuan House, or Meiwah.

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