The Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) is hosting it’s annualLunar New Year Family Festival on February 20, 2015 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Visitors of all ages are invited to participate in celebrating the Year of the Monkey with a fun-filled day of activities including folk arts with zodiac themed arts and crafts, festive music and dance performances, teaching artist demonstrations, storytelling, and much more!
The festival kicks off at 11:30 a.m. with The Mane Event, where visitors can delight in a lion dance performance and workshop with Columbia University Lion Dance. Festival attendees can experience new art forms and cultural traditions with interactive activities such as La Tiao Zi for Longevity: A Noodle Pulling Demo!; and Sounds of the New Year, a guqin and erhu performance. The art of guqin is part of the UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage List, and will be performed by Jiaoyue Lyu at 2:30 p.m. Lyu has previously performed at venues including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and JCC Manhattan. Also on the schedule is Calligraphy Corner, where visitors can practice simple brushstroke techniques and how to write the Chinese character for “luck.”
Throughout the day, families can sample the Tastes of the New Year, where they can nibble on different sticky, crunchy, and chewy bite-sized holiday treats, and learn how each one brings flavor and fortune to the New Year. This year will also feature the return of signature activities such as Legends Story Time; Zodiac Face Painting; and New Year Festival Dances, where Chinatown’s Red Silk Dancers will perform excerpts from the classic novel, Journey to the West. New activities this year include New Year, New You Photo Corner; Monochromatic Monkeys; Go Bananas! Gallery Hunt; Wishful Fish!; and more!
In celebration of Lunar New Year being recognized as an official holiday on the New York City public school calendar, MOCA will be open on Monday, February 8, 2016. MOCA offers a series of other Lunar New Year programs this winter like Decoding the Year of the Monkey with the Chinese Almanac on Saturday, January 30 at 2:30 p.m., and MOCACREATE: Museum Makeover on February 6 and 8 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m..
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 theColumbia 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!
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
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! **
Delight in the classical sounds of the guqin 古琴 and erhu 二胡 performed by acclaimed musicians Jiaoyue Lyu and Yang Wang. Learn the tradition and symbolism of some of the oldest instruments in the world!
Tastes of the New Year
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
Ring in the New Year as you strike a pose with friends, family, and festive foods in our recreated Chinatown street scene.
Rest + Play
Rest + Play is a space for parents and caretakers to rest while their children play! Sit back, relax, and enjoy our free Wi-Fi while kids enjoy free play with books, drawing tables, interactive storyboards, and more!
Drop-in Arts & Crafts, 11-4 pm
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.
Prepare for the Year of the Monkey by creating a mixed-media monkey that will hang around all year long!
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.
MOCA First Free Thursdays: Free gallery admission on the first Thursday of each month
Museum of Chinese in America, 215 Centre Street, New York, NY, 10013, www.mocanyc.org
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