Museum of Chinese in America's Lunar New Year Roundup

New York, NY – The Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) rang in the Year of the Ox with a series of Lunar New Year programs in January 2009.  The kick-off event was a Lunar New Year Arts Festival on Sunday, January 18th, co-sponsored by and held at the Children's Museum of the Arts.  The event drew over 400 children and families who celebrated the Lunar New Year with art.  The day featured special lion dance performances by Columbia University's Liondance Troupe, a workshop with children's book illustrator, Kam Mak, a performance by the Families with Children from China dance troupe, and a music and calligraphy workshop by the Mencius Society for the Arts.
On Thursday, January 22, MOCA and the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation co-sponsored an educational talk: Lunar New Year Customs and Symbols, featuring Daria Ng, Assistant Curator of Education at MOCA.  Lesser known customs and symbols of the New Year were explained through folktakes that described the origin of the holiday and how they have been adapted and transformed by Chinese Americans.  The event, held at Chelsea Recreation Center, was part of the Parks Department's Arts, Culture, & Fun Initiative.
Lunar New Year Papercutting was an arts and crafts workshop on Saturday, January 24 that drew families to Columbus Park's Pavilion.  Artist and teacher I Ting taught about the traditional art of papercutting and families created paper cut-outs of Chinese zodiac animals.  Another family-friendly event was Stories and Music of the Lunar New Year on Thursday, January 29, an afterschool program co-sponsored by MOCA and the New York Public Library's Seward Park branch.  Author, musician, and artist Mingmei Yip told stories and legends about the Lunar New Year and performed with the Chinese zither. 
Finally, MOCA wrapped up a busy Lunar New Year season with its popular Preparing for the New Year Walking Tours.  Over 300 people signed up for three consecutive Saturday walking tours on January 17th, 24th, and 31st.  Walking tour guests witnessed how Chinatown transformed itself in preparation for the New Year and also enjoyed this seasonal tours' shopping and tasting stops.  Visitors enjoyed red bean icees from Silkroad Place, a tea sampling from Ten Ren Tea, candy and snacks from Aji Ichiban, and ice cream with traditional Chinese flavors from the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory.
View Lunar New Year events gallery!