What, exactly, is the Lunar New Year, you may be wondering?
Usually associated with the Chinese New Year, it marks the first new moon of the lunisolar calendar that plenty of east Asian countries abide by. Interestingly enough, while the solar year lasts 365 days, the lunar one clocks in at about 354 days—which is why the celebrations range in date annually.
In 2021, the Year of the Ox, the Lunar New Year falls on Friday, February 12 and, needless to say, plenty of celebrations—which last up to 16 days—are happening online only. Below, we highlight some of the most exciting ones.
1. Lunar New Year Festival at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art
Expect a 12-hour pre-recorded broadcast to keep you occupied on February 13 from 10am EST through 10pm EST (some videos will be available on the 12th as well). Not only is the event completely free, but it doesn't even require a registration. From art making classes to online performances, puppet shows and talks, there are a whole lot of activities to browse through. Check them all out right here.
2. Asia Society's virtual celebration
Learn how to make an Ox hat and dumplings or, perhaps, revel in a traditional lion dance when celebrating with the Asia Society. The festival is free and open to the public, with new content released on February 12, 13, 19 and 26. Check out each day's schedule of events right here.
3. Lunar New Year virtual celebration with the Smithsonian American Art Museum
The Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Chinese Cultural Institute and the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the United States of America join forces in celebrating the Year of the Ox online. Attendees will be able to stream video performances and demonstrations of traditional Chinese crafts—just sign up here. Bonus points: you can access the SAAM Family Zone online portal for coloring pages, crafts and more.
4. Chuang Hua paper-cutting Workshop
New York non-profit Think!Chinatown is focusing on home decorations. On February 9, between 6 and 7pm EST, folks can attend a virtual traditional Chinese paper-cutting workshop taught by Ling Tang, who will also shed light on the history of the art. Get your free ticket here.
5. Lunar New Year family festival with the Museum of Chinese in America
From February 11 through February 19, all members of your family will delight in the museum's roster of events, which include arts and crafts sessions, author meet and greets, noodle history videos, talks and more. You can register for each event on the museum's website.
6. Year of the Golden Ox with the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company
A three-day dance and music festival? Count us in. Kicking off on February 11, Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company's celebrations will include traditional Chinese dances, a folk ensemble and much more. Find more details about the programming here.
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