Lunar New Year Family Festival!

Sat, Feb 20, 2016 @ 11:00am - 4:00pm

Go bananas this New Year at MOCA! Celebrate Chinese and Chinese American traditions and folk arts with zodiac themed arts & crafts, festive music and dance performances, teaching artist demonstrations, storytelling, and much more monkey business!


Tickets: $10/person; $8 for all MOCA Dual and Individual Level Members; Free for MOCA Family Level Members and above, children under 2, and Cool Culture families. Click here to purchase tickets.

See festival schedule below!


Workshops, Demonstrations, & More!

The Mane Event: A Lion Dance Performance and Workshop 11:30 am
Kick off our annual Festival with a vibrant lion dance by the Columbia University Lion Dance troupe. Afterwards, practice your own drum beats and sneak a peek inside the lion costumes!


Go Bananas! Gallery Hunt
12 & 2 pm

In celebration of the Year of the Monkey, join us in finding bananas high and low in the gallery!


La Tiao Zi for Longevity: A Noodle Pulling Demo!

12:30 pm
Noodles have a long history in many cultures, but the world’s oldest noodles were found in China, over 4,000 years ago! Noodles symbolize long life during the New Year. Watch and learn from artist Yang Wang as he shares his family tradition of noodle pulling from Northwestern China!


Legends Story Time
1 & 3 pm

Monkey around with MOCA educators during these lively interpretations of classic folk tales. Discover how ‘The Legend of Nian’ and ‘The Great Zodiac Race’ contribute towards popular cultural traditions!


New Year Festival Dances **

1:30 & 3:30 pm 
Usher in the New Year with the Red Silk Dancers as they perform an excerpt from the classic novel, Journey to the West. Experience traditional folk dances from Southwest China such as the rhythmic “Peacock Dance” and “Tobacco Box Dance.”


Zodiac Face Painting
2-4 pm

Bring your favorite zodiac animals to life by getting a cool, colorful zodiac animal painted on your face or hand.

Sounds of the New Year! **

2:30 pm 
Delight in the classical sounds of the pipa 琵琶 and erhu 二胡 performed by acclaimed musicians Jiaju Shen and Yang Wang. Learn the tradition and symbolism of some of the oldest instruments in the world!


Tastes of the New Year

11:30-4 pm
Use your senses to sample sticky, crunchy, and chewy bite-sized holiday treats. Explore how each one brings flavor and fortune to the New Year.


New Year, New You Photo Corner 

11-4 pm
Ring in the New Year as you strike a pose with friends, family, and festive foods in our recreated Chinatown street scene.

Drop-in Arts & Crafts, 11 am-4 pm

Calligraphy Corner
Join expert Calligrapher Tianyi Shan as she demonstrates a traditional art form by painting festive messages on traditional rice paper. Learn simple brushstroke techniques and how to write the Chinese character for luck 福.


Monochromatic Monkeys
Prepare for the Year of the Monkey by creating a mixed-media monkey that will hang around all year long!


Wishful Fish!
Fish represent abundance in the New Year. Collage a scale of our community koi and bring abundance to the Museum in the year to come. Don’t forget to leave behind a special New Year’s wish!


Marvelous Music Makers 
Turn ordinary household items into festive rattle drums that you can use to scare away the legendary Nian monster. Put your customized noisemakers to good use during our legends story time.


** Denotes a ticketed event. Ticketed events are free with admission, but have limited capacity.


MOCA’s Family Festival Series is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, along with the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, Wells Fargo, and the National Endowment for the Arts.