The Metropolitan Museum of Art will host its annual Lunar New Year Festival on Saturday, February 1, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Lunar New Year Festival: Year of the Rat will feature dozens of engaging programs—for visitors of all ages—that reflect traditions from across Asia.
Highlights include Sesame Street Puppeteers Featuring Alan Muraoka along with artist-led workshops and interactive gallery activities like a Hand-Pulled Noodle Demonstration. All Lunar New Year Festival programming is free with Museum admission.
The event is made possible in part by the E.H.A. Foundation and Tiger Baron Foundation. It is presented by the Museum’s Advisory Committee on Cultural Engagement and Education Department.
Visitors will be welcomed in the Great Hall with the vibrant and beloved opening parade by the Chinese Center on Long Island Lion Troupe. The Sesame Street Puppeteers Featuring Alan Muraoka will perform sing-a-longs that explore the traditions of Lunar New Year, followed by a fun photo-op with Sesame Street characters. Throughout the afternoon, there will also be a variety of performances by the New York Chinese Cultural Center dancers, the Chinese Center on Long Island Lion Troupe, and drummers from the New York Korean Performing Arts Center. Tickets for each event will be distributed 15 minutes prior at the Grace Rainey Rodgers Auditorium.
In Gallery 217, the Astor Court, Vincent Chong, a queer, mixed-race Chinese American artist, will explore art and identity using gold calligraphy and festive fans through 15-minute performances presented every 45 minutes.
Art Activities and Demonstrations
Several artist-led workshops will be offered as part of Lunar New Year Festival: Year of the Rat. Zodiac Zones, for example, will invite guests to discover and learn about their zodiac signs and proudly wear their zodiac animal button. Visitors of all ages can try their hand at different creative workshops—from creating a movable dragon toy that brings good luck in Fierce Dragon Creations to expressing themselves with calligraphy under the guidance of master Chinese calligrapher Zhou Bin from iCanMandarin and designing a pellet drum in Den-den Daiko Drum Making, and more. Families can celebrate and learn through food in a Wu-Wo Tea Ceremony & Bubble Tea Gathering with Ten Ren Tea and Ginseng Co. and a Hand-Pulled Noodle Demonstration. All are welcome to join artist and educator Emily Mock in Festive Feast, where participants can add to the communal paper feast installation for the kitchen gods.
The Met is presenting Celebrating the Year of the Rat, January 17–July 19, 2020, in the Charlotte C. Weber Galleries for the Arts of Ancient China. The exhibition features remarkable works from The Met collection that illustrate the rat’s ubiquitous presence in people’s daily lives as an active, agile, and smart creature.
The exhibition is made possible by the Joseph Hotung Fund.
General Event Information
More about the event, including directions to programming throughout the Museum, will be available at the information desk inside the main entrance at Fifth Avenue and 82nd Street and in the Ruth and Harold D. Uris Center for Education, located near the ground-floor entrance at Fifth Avenue and 81st Street. All Lunar New Year Festival programs are free with Museum admission. Suggested Museum admission is $25 for adults, $17 for seniors (65 and over), and $12 for students. Children under 12 who are accompanied by an adult are free.
A full list of festival programming, along with further details and a schedule of events, is available on The Met website.
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January 29, 2020
Image: Filip Wolak