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Lunar New Year 2015

Celebrate the Lunar New Year at the Asian Art Museum.

In many parts of Asia, the Lunar New Year is the most important celebration of the year. It falls on the first day of the lunar calendar, so the exact date changes each time. In 2015, Lunar New Year (also known as Chinese New Year) falls on February 19.  

Join us at the Asian Art Museum as we bid farewell to the Year of the Horse and welcome the Year of the Ram with our variety of special events, family-friendly activities, and unique merchandise in the store. 

Events are free with museum admission unless otherwise stated, and kids 12 and under always enjoy free admission. We wish you good health, good luck and much happiness throughout the Year of the Ram.

Chinese Zodiac

Zodiac Animals
It's believed that the animal that rules your year of birth influences your personality. Find your animal with our online calculator.

Video: Why the Rat Comes First story
Asian Art Museum Storyteller Fred Sheng shares the story about the race that determined the Chinese zodiac. Inspired by a book by Clara Yen (Author) and Hideo C. Yoshida (Illustrator).

Gallery Guides

Pick up gallery guides at the information desk
Free with museum admission  

Lunar New Year Family Gallery Guide introduces the Lunar New Year and the zodiac animals in the museum's collection for children ages 7 to 10. Complete each and get a prize at the information desk.
Gallery guide available starting Jan 12 through February.

Elements of Art Explorer Pack introduce kids and families to line, shape, color and texture in the museum’s collection with an interactive guide and tools for exploring these art fundamentals. Available starting Jan. 5.

Dive deeper into the museum collection with Animal Adventure Art Cards, open-ended prompts that introduce animals in the Asian Art Museum collection and encourage play in the galleries. Art Cards are available at the information desk daily and are recommended for kids ages 3-6.

Learning Resources

Lunar New Year Traditions
Find out how the new year is celebrated in China, what symbols are considered lucky, and more.

Do you know the "Three Friends of Winter"? Do you know why piles of Mandarin oranges are a common sight as the New Year approaches? Curious about other auspicious symbols of the New Year? Check out this friendly guide to learn more fruits and flowers associated with Lunar New Year.  

Lunar New Year Food
You are what you eat! Linda Lei explains the traditions behind popular food during the Lunar New Year such as how cooking with green onions makes kids smarter, eating potstickers brings wealth, and more.


Family Fun Days
First and third Sundays, 10:30 AM–2 PM

Explore art and ideas through immersive storytelling, fun gallery activities, creative art making and more. Discover and play as a family! Themes and projects change regularly. Every February, learn about Chinese New Year symbols for hope and prosperity with sustainable art projects inspired by flowers and plants.

10:30 AM–11:00 AM
stART Tour for kids ages 3-6
11:00 AM–2 PM
Art making and self-guided activities

Lunar New Year Celebration
This event is over.

Celebrate Lunar New Year—an important holiday in many parts of Asia—at the museum. Students from the Chinese American International School and China Dance School and Theatre will perform music and dances, culminating with an energetic lion dance, believed to scare away evil spirits and secure a prosperous new year. Feeling adventurous? Learn stilt walking and ribbon dancing from West Portal Elementary students. Storytelling, art activities, martial arts demonstrations and a reading from children’s book author Oliver Chin round out an action packed day for the whole family. See full schedule.