The Lunar New Year, aka Chinese New Year or Spring Festival, will be celebrated on Sunday, February 10, 2013, and will last for as long as 15 days, till the Sunday, February 24, 2013. This year is the year of the Snake, aka Serpent, according to the Chinese zodiac calendar.
The snake is the 56th sign of the Chinese zodiac and it’s characteristics are: Acute, Aware, Cunning, Proud, Vain, Vicious.
You can celebrate this festive holiday with your kids at various events—locally and beyond. You can also learn more about it together by reading some of the many children’s books on the subject. One of my favorite books about the Chinese Zodiac is The Great Race sold by Barefoot Books. It tells how the Chinese zodiac came to be in an exciting way that my kids love. It also shares the characteristics and qualities of the animal signs. Watchung Booksellers has a great collections of Chinese New Year books. Check them out online here. Words Bookstore in Maplewood does too. See their collection here.
Here are ways to ring in the Lunar New Year:
Chinese New Year Celebration with Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company and Hou-Tien Cheng
Who: All ages.
What: 2013 is the Year of the Snake, but not as the western world thinks of him. He’s refined, charming, elegant, wise, and very lucky. Join the renowned Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company and master paper cutter Hou-Tien Cheng who use this ancient symbol of grace as inspiration for fiery dancing and dazzling design. In lightning speed master Cheng createswith paper and scissors anything you can imagine including the mightyserpent. And with twirling ribbons and martial movement Nai-Ni’s troupe will beckon forth spring and to awakening all hibernating creatures. Paper Cutting Demo at noon. Pieces will be available for purchase directly from the artist; Dance Performance at 2pm
Where: Grounds for Sculpture, 18 Fairgrounds Road, Hamilton, NJ.
When: Saturday, January 26 at 12:00 pm.
Cost: $15 Members; $20 non-members. Purchase by January 25 and park admission is free. For more information call (609) 586-0616 or click here.
Nai-Ni Chen at NJPAC
Who: Ages 8 and up.
What: Flowing lines, twirling ribbons, and the thunderous motion of martial arts highlight this program of both traditional and contemporary music and dance, all choreographed by New Jersey’s own Nai-Ni Chen. The New York Times calls Chen’s singular style, which weaves the discipline of Chinese arts with the freedom of American modern dance, “an impressive, remarkably smooth blend of new and old.”
Where: NJPAC, Victoria Theater, 1 Center Street, Newark, NJ.
When: Saturday, February 9 and Sunday, February 10 at 2:00 pm.
Cost: $25. Click here to purchase tickets online.
Lunar New Year Festival
Who: All ages
What: Ring in the Year of the Snake at CMA! Join us for a special celebration of Chinese arts and culture by exploring both ancient and modern Chinese art, music and dance. The festival will feature guest artists and performances by the NY Chinese Cultural Center and Music from China, as well as hands-on workshops by the CMA Staff. Watch ribbon, sword, and Mongolian bowl dances, try your hand at calligraphy and join in on our parade!
Where: Children’s Museum of the Arts, 103 Charlton Street , NYC
When: Saturday, February 2 and Sunday, 3, from 10 am – 5 pm
Cost: Free with general admission ($11 for ages 1-65)
Express Your Inner Snake: Celebrate Lunar New Year
Who: All ages
What: Kick off the New Year at MOCA! This popular annual event will include family friendly tours of the museum, Lunar New Year walking tours of Chinatown and an array of drop-in arts and crafts activities throughout the day.
Where: The Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA), 215 Centre Street, NYC
When: Saturday, February 2 from 11 am – 6 pm
Cost: General admission: $10. MOCA Members and Children ages 5 and under: Free.
Korean New Year Family Day
Who: All ages
What: Celebrate Korean New Year (Sŏllal) with an afternoon of fun-filled family activities at The Korea Society! Enjoy storytelling based on Korean folk tales and practice the New Year’s bow (sebae) to show respect for elders. Play traditional games, create kites and other crafts, and sample tasty Korean treats! Meaningful memories await your family at The Korea Society.
Where: The Korea Society, 950 Third Ave, 8th Floor, NYC
When: Saturday, February 2 at 1 pm and 3 pm
Cost: $25 per family of 3-5 ($5 each additional family member) $10 for individuals
Chinese New Year at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum
Who: Ages 4 and up
What: Several events: Create a snake, rocket activity, and celebration. Check here for calendar and details.
Where: Brooklyn Children’s Museum, 145 Brooklyn Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
When: Saturday, February 9 and Sunday, February 10.
Cost: Free with admission of $9 per person.
14th Annual Lunar New Year Parade And Festival
Who: All ages
What: Annual parade and cultural festival
Where: Chinatown, NYC. Check here for location details.
When: Sunday, February 10 beginning at 10 am