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Scholastic Kids Press Corps
The Scholastic Kids Press Corps is a team of about 50 Kid Reporters around the nation.  The interactive site brings daily news to life with reporting for kids, by kids.
washington dc chinese new year parade dragon A dragon makes its way down the streets of Washington, D.C., as the city celebrated Chinese New Year with a parade. (Photo courtesy Emily Shao)

A Capitol Celebration!

Washington, D.C., celebrates the Year of the Snake with a parade to remember

By Emily Shao | null null , null

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Sunday, the streets of downtown Washington, D.C., were filled with kids, teenagers, and adults. They lined the streets to watch a giant snake curving its way around and twisting down the streets.

Of course, it was not a real snake. It was a parade to celebrate the first day of a Chinese New Year – the Year of the Snake!

The parade was really loud. You could hear drums beating, music blaring, and firecrackers banging. Then, in the middle of the parade, you could see a colorful little snake made by the second graders from the Yu Ying Elementary School in Washington.

Eight-year-old Quinn C. was one of the artists who made the snake. He was very excited that he and his friends get to hold the snake and show it to tens of thousands of people.

"We like Chinese culture," Quinn's mom said. "For a few years, we thought Quinn was born in the year of the rooster, but later we found out that he is actually a monkey, and he was so happy about that."

One of Quinn's friends is 10-year-old Zander S. Zander said he owns a pet snake named Nagini. He was also very excited about the year of the snake!

"I like Chinese food so much that I could eat a hundred dumplings in these next 15 days for celebration," Zander said.

In May, Zander and his fellow fifth graders will take a two-week field trip to China!

Of course, no Chinese New Year parade is complete without dragons. And this parade had a cute little dragon made by brothers Sawyer L., age 7, and Stuart, age 8, and their Brent Elementary School classmates.

Sawyer and Stuart were very proud to be in the parade for the first time. They held their heads high as they marched along. Sawyer and Stuart said they like Chinese New Year because "it means happiness, love, and being with our family."

Following the little dragon were two "adult" dragons, one green and one red.

Stephen Nolen, a history major from George Mason University in Virginia and a Tai-Chi performer, was one of the 10 people waving the green dragon. He was very excited because this is his first year in the dragon dance. His favorite part about the Chinese New Year is being with friends and family.

Dorothea Hahn is a reporter for Tageszeitung (a German newspaper) and an avid member of the D.C. Dragon Boat Club. She practices three times a week on the Washington Channel. For the parade, Dorothea and her team made two paper dragon boats and they "rowed" them through the D.C. streets.

The lion dance was also popular with parade-goers. Spencer F., age 9, and his dad, Alvin, belong to the famous Wong People Kung Fu Association. They have been practicing for three to four hours a day, twice a week, just to get ready for lion dancing at the parade.

Spencer and his dad were showered with applause as their lions roamed the streets.

"In many ways, [lion dancing] is like spending time with your family," Alvin said. "And you really get a chance to reach out to the community."

There was truly a sense of community at the parade as tens of thousands of people came together to celebrate the spirit of Chinese New Year!

Kid Reporter Grace Ybarra shares how her school celebrated Chinese New Year on the Scholastic News Kids Press Corps Blog. Check out her post, and tell us how you celebrate Chinese New Year!


How does the rest of the country celebrate Chinese New Year? Find out in the Scholastic News Kids Press Corps's Chinese New Year Special Report!


Get the latest on national and international events, movies, television, music, sports, and more from the Scholastic News Kids Press Corps.

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