Chinese New Year Celebration

Chinese New Year Celebration

Saturday, February 8 / Noon - 7 pm / FREE

Celebrate the lunar new year with dragon and lion dances, musical performances, art-making activities, tours of the Chinese Collection, and more. This year’s program features a lecture on Chinese art by Christina Yu Yu, Matsutaro Shoriki Chair, Art of Asia, at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, a performance by Chinese flutist Chen Tao, and fireworks to conclude the program at sundown. 

The Restaurant at the Norton will be preparing and selling Chinese Dumplings on the South Garden Colonnade and offering Chinese appetizers in the Museum Restaurant, open until 5pm.

Schedule of Events

  • Lecture: The Lantern Festival

    Laurie Barnes, Elizabeth B. McGraw Curator of Chinese Art, on The Lantern Festival, a rare, monumental Ming dynasty painting.

  • Concert: Children’s Introduction to Chinese Music

    A child friendly introduction to Chinese music that will feature Melody of Dragon, a Chinese music ensemble based in New York City. Children will receive an introduction to the musicians from the group and their instruments in an informal setting. 

  • Spotlight Talks

    15-minute Spotlight talks on Chinese Art in the Collection. 

    Meet your docents in the Niblack Gallery (first floor) or Chinese Galleries on the second floor.

    1:30, 2, 2:30, 3, 3:30, 4:30, 5, and 5:30 p.m.
  • Cooking Demonstration: Chinese Dumplings

    CHICKEN DUMPLINGS (餃子, jiao zi) in the shape of Chinese silver ingots known as a ding or tael signify prosperity are one of the dishes traditionally served to welcome good fortune in the New Year. During this cooking demonstration by Laurie Barnes, Elizabeth B. McGraw Curator of Chinese Art this demonstration will show how to stuff and pan fry dumplings. A printed recipe will also be available.

    In light of the celebration the Restaurant will be serving chicken and shrimp dumplings at the concessions. 

    Chinese Dumpling Recipe

  • Highlights of the Museum Collection Tour

  • Storytime: Tales of the New Year

    Learn about the Legend of the Chinese Zodiac and the Legend of Nian (story of Chinese New Year) during Tales of the New Year with “Storytainer” Monica Ladd.

  • Concert: Melody of Dragon

    Concert featuring Melody of Dragon 

    Melody of Dragon, Inc., a Chinese music ensemble based in New York City, was founded in 1998 by four virtuoso musicians from the leading conservatories in China in order to introduce and promote Chinese musical repertory in the United States. Their performance to welcome the New Year at the Norton will include music from Chinese popular, folk, regional and operatic traditions.

    Founder Chen Tao: is an internationally acclaimed Chinese flutist (Chinese bamboo flute dizi), music educator, composer and conductor of Chinese orchestra. He is a graduate and former Associate Professor at the prestigious Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. The New York Times called Chen Tao, a “poet in music” and his playing “a miracle of the oriental flute.” 

    Also a graduate of the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, Liu Li is an accomplished ruan ( Chinese lute with a round body and four strings) performer. In 2002, she collaborated on the movie music recording of “Hero” composed by Oscar winner Tan Dun with world famous Violin master Itzhak Perlman.

    Xia Wen-Jie is a banhu (bowed Chinese fiddle) master, who graduated from the school of Shanghai Traditional Music Orchestra in 1962. He has performed at the Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall.

  • Architecture and Sculpture Tour

  • Dragon and Lion Dances: Li Koon Hung Kung Fu

    The Taichi martial Arts troupe founded by Kung Fu grandmaster Lee Koon Hung will perform traditional dances to welcome the Year of the Rat/ Mouse.

    Grandmaster Lee Koon Hung (1942-1996) starred in some Kung Fu movies including “Duel of the 7 Tigers” and “Choy Lay Fut” and has been invited by the governments of many countries to perform his Lion Dance. Today the troupe is led by Lee Koon Hung’s younger brother Master Li Siu Hung who continues the legacy of teaching Taichi and Kung Fu and inspiring generations to come.

  • Workshop: Ink-Painting

    Teaching Artist Jill Lavetsky’s will lead an ink-painting workshop focusing on teaching the strokes traditional Chinese ink painters using bamboo, one of Nature’s three “Winter Friends.”

    For about 1000 years Chinese scholars painted bamboo, pine and plum, known as the Three Friends of Winter, in monochrome inK part because those skilled in the use of the brush for calligraphy could master these subjects with relative ease. During this workshop participants will have the opportunity to try their hand at painting bamboo. The three friends of winter were traditional decorations for welcoming the Lunar New Year in China. Bamboo and pine are evergreen and withstand harsh winter elements. The flowering plum is earliest to bloom, in many cases while there is still snow on the ground, thereby holding the promise of renewal in the coming year.

  • Chinese Calligraphy Demonstration

    Back by popular demand calligrapher Dr. Gordon Hu, long-time member of the US China People’s Friendship Association, Southeast Florida Chapter, has demonstrated the writing of traditional characters for good fortune in the New Year. This year, Dr. Hu will guide participants in as they try their hand at writing New Year wishes.

  • Lecture: Leisure in the Garden: On the Occasion of the Lunar New Year

    Christina YuYu, Matsutaro Shoriki Chair, Art of Asia, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

    Learn More

    seating is limited; free tickets available at front desk at 4 p.m.

  • Storytime: Tales of the New Year, featuring

    Learn about the Legend of the Chinese Zodiac and the Legend of Nian (story of Chinese New Year) during Tales of the New Year with “Storytainer” Monica Ladd.

  • Express Tour: Highlights of the Chinese Collection

  • Fireworks

    Fireworks over the Intracoastal Waterway


This program was made possible by the generosity of John and Heidi Niblack.