Image by anielbaez0 from Pixabay

Featuring daylong programming with performances, art-making activities, demonstrations, workshops, and more

Pay-as-you-wish admission for all New Yorkers and students from Connecticut and New Jersey

The Metropolitan Museum of Art will host a Lunar New Year Festival in celebration of the Year of the Rabbit on Saturday, January 21. The festival will honor Lunar New Year traditions from across Asia and feature artist-led workshops, performances, and interactive activities for participants of all ages. Events will take place throughout the Museum from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. All activities are free with Museum admission and no registration is required. Admission is free for Members and kids under 12 and pay-as-you-wish for all New Yorkers and students from Connecticut and New Jersey. 

Highlights include a lion dance showcase presentation with the Chinese Center on Long Island Lion Troupe; a performance by the AAPI Jazz Collective led by Peter Lin; storytelling with a traditional Chinese shadow performance from Chinese Theatre Works; photo opportunities with Alan, the beloved owner of Hooper’s Store on Sesame Street, and Sesame Street Muppeteers; art-making activities, a tea ceremony and tasting, and more. 

All Lunar New Year Festival programming is free on The Met’s online channels, including FacebookInstagramTwitter, and YouTube. Festival participants are invited to share their celebrations by tagging #MetLunar. 

EVENTS
The full schedule of program with details can be found on The Met’s website and is available in Korean, simplified Chinese, and Spanish.

Performances:

The festival will feature two performances. A lion dance with the Chinese Center on Long Island Lion Troupe (11–11:30 a.m., 1–1:30 p.m., and 3–3:30 p.m.) and live music from many Asian cultures reimagined within a jazz context and performed by AAPI Jazz Collective led by Peter Lin (12–12:30 p.m., 2–2:30 p.m., and 4–4:30 p.m.). 

Art Activities and Demonstrations: 

Art-making workshops will be offered throughout the day. Attendees can create a miniature charm to represent their Chinese zodiac animal, construct a hand drum to ring in the new year, or create a celebratory bouquet using a variety of paper craft techniques or an animal helmet inspired by artworks and other headpieces. 

In the galleries, there will be workshops for creative Chinese and Korean calligraphy through guided brushwork, and handscroll demonstrations and conversations led by Met staff on how works of art were created. A Korean fan-dance workshop with dancers from the New York Korean Performing Arts Center will take place in the Ruth and Harold D. Uris Center for Education (12–12:30 p.m., 1:30–2 p.m., and 3:30–4 p.m.). 

Talks and Storytelling:

A talk on the exhibition Celebrating the Year of the Rabbit with Jason Sun, The Met’s Brooke Russell Astor Curator of Chinese Art, will highlight depictions of rabbits in the Museum’s collection. A video of the talk will be available in English and Mandarin on The Met’s YouTube channel. 

Chinese Theatre Works will present Grandma Rabbit’s tale in a traditional Chinese shadow performance (11–11:30 a.m., 12–12:30 p.m., and 2–2:30 p.m.). 

General Event Pop-Ups:

Say cheers to the New Year with bubble-tea tasting (1:30–2 p.m. and 3:30–4 p.m.) and a tea ceremony demonstration (12:30–1 p.m. and 2:30–3 p.m.) by Ten Ren Tea. Yu and Me, a Chinatown bookshop focusing on community and immigrant stories, will have a pop-up shop at the Museum during the Festival. 

RELATED EXHIBITIONS
The Met’s collection of Asian art—more than 35,000 objects ranging in date from the 3rd millennium B.C. to the 21st century—is one of the largest and most comprehensive in the world. Each of Asia’s many civilizations is represented by outstanding works, providing an unrivaled experience of the artistic traditions of nearly half the world. Works from the collection are featured in current exhibitions and displayed across the department’s many galleries.

Celebrating the Year of the Rabbit (on view January 21, 2023–February 4, 2024) presents 16 remarkable Chinese works depicting rabbits in artworks throughout history. The rabbit is a popular figure in literature and folklore; for example, a rabbit is believed to inhabit the moon and assist the goddess Chang’e by preparing her elixir of immorality. Also on view are images of the zodiac animals in jade and ceramics, meant to adorn people’s homes as well as dispel harmful influences.

Other exhibitions on view include Noble Virtues: Nature as Symbol in Chinese Art (through January 29, 2023), exploring the meanings behind the themes of natural world in Chinese art; Jegi: Korean Ritual Objects (through October 15, 2023), exploring the role of Korean ritual objects; Ganesha: Lord of New Beginnings (through February 25, 2024), highlighting the many depictions of Ganesha through 24 works; A Passion for Jade: The Bishop Collection (through February 17, 2025), showcasing over 100 remarkable objects representing the sophisticated art of Chinese gemstone carvers and Mogul Indian craftsmen; and Embracing Color: Enamel in Chinese Decorative Arts, 1300–1900 (through February 17, 2025), featuring works that reveal the aesthetic, technical, and cultural achievement of Chinese enamel wares during the Ming and Qing dynasties. 

The full list of Asian art exhibitions is available on The Met’s website.